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It occurred after the president announced he had nominated former federal prosecutor Steve Dettelbach to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
It happened to be a nice spring day in Washington, and Biden mentioned in passing that Dettelbach “was responsible for the weather.”
That inspired someone at the RNC to conflate what Raw Story correctly called a “corny joke” into something a lot more sinister by pointing out that the nominee is Jewish.
Biden says his ATF nominee, Steve Dettelbach, "was responsible for the weather" today.
Dettelbach is Jewish. pic.twitter.com/onG4h7IqVe
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 11, 2022
Although many people might wonder why the RNC felt it necessary to mention Dettelbach’s religion, those familiar with antisemitic tropes will note that “Jews control the weather” is an actual conspiracy theory.
In 2018, Washington, D.C., city council member Trayon White Sr. came under fire after citing the theory to explain a brief snowstorm. Far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) referenced the antisemitic belief when she tried to blame California’s wildfires on, essentially, Jewish space lasers.
Twitter users were confused about the point of the GOP’s tweet and happy to point out Republican hypocrisy.
why is the RNC highlighting this guy's Jewish background that's kind of weird https://t.co/EZkIS7jvQm
— bryan metzger (@metzgov) April 11, 2022
So I guess the RNC is now condemning any and all members of its party that believe that Jewish space lasers are controlling the weather? https://t.co/i0O9k5qtbo
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) April 11, 2022
The bar for a misleading political attack keeps getting lower on this site. https://t.co/MbVoP79tUR
— michaelscherer (@michaelscherer) April 11, 2022
are you guys keeping a list of jews or something https://t.co/CVRRh4tJD6
— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) April 11, 2022
Wait until the RNC finds out about "the replacement theory" that Republicans promote... https://t.co/DbF1uF2sfV
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) April 11, 2022
It's true that if Trump had said this, liberals would freak out at him. That's because Trump employed white supremacists and had a history of making antisemitic comments. Hope that helps!*
*It won't help https://t.co/aD9JJeKxdT
— Gary Legum (@GaryLegum) April 11, 2022
I'm Jewish, and this from @RNCResearch is embarrassing. Also, not for nothing, trying to remember @RNC uttering a peep when Donald Trump ran an add with @HillaryClinton and a Star of David atop money with the word "corrupt." I'll wait. https://t.co/dQXu8ms0fYpic.twitter.com/d9ZuqjGBRF
— Jeff Pearlman (@jeffpearlman) April 11, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.