Two days after fans eager to push the Democrats further to the left started boosting the Twitter cred of Democratic former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska, 88, who's weighing a 2020 White House bid, his controversial past is leaping to the fore.
Vice reported about claims that Gravel is a left-wing 9/11 truther, believing the infamous terror attacks were an inside job.
The Jewish Worker reported about claims that Gravel has attachments to conspiracy theorists who support anti-Semitism, such as appearances on a podcast by known Holocaust denier Kevin Barrett.
Staffers in charge of his Twitter account told Fox News via email Thursday afternoon: “The Vice piece neglects to note that this pales in comparison to other candidates. We will be sending in a statement to them shortly. We disagree with Senator Gravel on this specific issue. Whatever you think of these views, they have never killed anyone or imprisoned anyone unjustly. That's far more than you can say for people like [former Vice President] Biden, who voted to send kids to Iraq, or Kamala Harris, who contributed to mass incarceration.”
They added: “The Jewish Worker piece has been updated. We think their analysis has been fair and they've been judicious in allowing us to respond. Senator Gravel has unequivocally denounced Mr. Barrett, as you can see in the statements we sent.”
They also added: “We aren't seeking to elect him president, and we don't expect everyone to agree with everything he has thought or has done in 88 years of life. We want to get him on the debate stage so he can issue a critique of American imperialism and push the field to the left.”
Gravel has not run for president since 2008, and he hasn’t been a senator since 1981.
An exploratory committee already has been formed — a statement of organization was filed to the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.