CHICAGO -- A Democratic congressional candidate from the Chicago area continued the claim that a chief aide to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh flashed "white power signs" during the hearing. The claims have been widely debunked.
Illinois 6th District Democratic congressional candidate Sean Casten insisted during a debate on Monday that Zina Bash intentionally made a white supremacist signal during last week's televised Senate confirmation hearing.
Those claims were immediately dubious as Bash's heritage is half Mexican and half Jewish, and her grandparents escaped the Holocaust to come to America.
Casten was referring to an online conspiracy theory we first reported last Tuesday claiming Bash deliberately made an "alt-right" hand symbol. Bash rested her hand on her arm in a way that briefly resembled an "okay" sign.
A spokesman for the Senate Judiciary Committee clarified it was an innocuous signal to a staffer "to request a water glass for the judge. Once it arrived, she was simply communicating her thanks."
The Washington Post pointed to C-SPAN footage that appears to vindicate that.
"Kavanaugh turns around and speaks to Bash at one point," the Post writes. "There’s a coffee cup, but not water glass, on the desk. Bash and the man sitting next to her appear to discuss whatever the judge said as Bash texts on her phone. About a minute later, Bash looks straight ahead and appears to mouth the word ‘glass.' Then, she gives the OK hand sign. Shortly after that, a water glass is brought to Kavanaugh’s desk."
Casten made the claim during Monday's debate while defending his earlier claim that there were "Nazis" working in President Trump's administration, claiming former Trump Advisor Sebastian Gorka is a "nazi".
Casten, who is an energy executive, then said, "there's a problem when we have Zina Bash this week flashing white power signs behind the Brett Kavanaugh hearings," he said. "How do we not stand up to that?"
Congressman Peter Roskam, who Casten is challenging in November blasted Casten Monday for playing "politics of ridicule".
Sean Casten is endorsed by former President Barack Obama, Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, the Illinois Education Association, the United Automobile Workers union, several major government employee unions, as well as a chapter of Teamsters.
Casten has also said that President Trump has a, "tremendous amount in common" with terrorist Osama bin Laden. He has also used the term. "nazis and racists in the White House," on more than one occasion during his primary campaign.