CNN’s Jake Tapper did his level best to contain himself upon hearing U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) say that he thought and hoped every House Democrat would vote to support his resolution condemning Hamas’ use of rape and sexual violence against Israeli women during and after the atrocities of October 7th.
Watch as Tapper offers Moskowitz an offline wager to close the interview, the closest thing to the “First Time?” meme you’ll see on cable news:
The interview was set up by U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s horrendous both-sidesing on CNN State of the Union, when asked about Hamas’ use of rape as a war tactic by Dana Bash. Actually, very little of it was devoted to Jayapal. Tapper quickly shifted to pointing to Republicans linked to noted anti-semite Nick Fuentes- a both-sidesing of anti-semitism given the reason for the resolution. Despite Tapper’s leading, Moskowitz remained balanced in his criticism of anti-semitism, calling it a bipartisan issue.
Towards the end, Tapper asks Moskowitz whether he thinks every Dem will line up for the bill: not once, but twice. Moskowitz blinked, and Tapper took the easy money.
Exit question: will Tapper run a parlay on the over/under of Squad members voting “nay”?
Click “expand” to view the full transcript of the aforementioned interview as aired on CNN’s The Lead With Jake Tapper on Tuesday, December 5th, 2023:
JAKE TAPPER: In our World lead today, the House passed a Republican-led resolution condemning anti-semitism, while two House Democrats plan to introduce a resolution this week condemning Hamas’ use of sexual violence and rape against Israeli women and girls. Sexual violence and rape typically an easy thing to condemn, one would think, full stop. But the resolution has been drafted in the wake of these comments on CNN from Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal.
U.S. REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Rape is horrific, sexual assault is horrific, it happens in war situations, terrorist organizations like Hamas obviously are using these as tools. However, I think we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrageous things against Palestinians.
TAPPER: The congresswoman today released a statement defending these remarks saying, “I understand that I have critics who disagree with me on policy but for them to insinuate that I would think, say or act in any way that equivocates on rape is outrageous and completely inconsistent with my record and life’s work”, unquote. Democratic Congressman Jared Moskowitz of Florida is here to discuss- he and a couple of Republicans are backing a commission to study acts of anti-semitism in the United States. Congressman, what was your response when you watched that interview with Congresswoman Jayapal and what was your reaction to her statement today?
U.S. REP. JARED MOSKOWITZ (D-FL): Well, look. I’m happy she put out that statement, I’m happy she clarified it because, by the way when you watch the interview, I mean, it wasn’t confusing just to viewers. I mean, boy. Dana Bash was even bewildered by the response, it was almost like the congresswoman was concerned that she was criticizing Hamas too much and wanted to make sure that she gave Israel equal time for her criticism, because she kept trying to change the subject back to Israel, like, “Oh, well, October 7th happened a long time ago, let’s just talk about yesterday”. And, so, look. You can’t just be that when it happens to women, except for Jews, we have a different rule. This is not something that has been disputed, by the way. At all. But- look. The UN has shown that it was difficult to condemn this act, I mean, the UN could barely condemn Hamas, and so this is something that we are seeing out there, and it- borderlines blatant double standard for Israel and borderlines anti-semitism.
TAPPER: Do you think the Democratic party has an anti-semitism problem?
MOSKOWITZ: Well, of course. Anti-semitism is a bipartisan issue, okay? Let’s not pretend like it’s- it’s just my friends who like to have dinner, you know, with Holocaust deniers at Mar-a-Lago. This is a bipartisan issue, and the problem is Democrats only wanted to call out, you know, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar and Trump when they do it, and they don’t want to call it out when it’s in their own party. But, you know, it’s easy to do it when it’s across the aisle. It’s much harder to do it when it’s coming from within your own house. And I just think that it wasn’t acceptable before October 7th, but if October 7th isn’t a wake-up call for the Jewish community and for other people who care about hatred and bigotry, not just in this country but around the world, we have to call it out even when it’s coming from our friends. It’s uncomfortable, especially with people you have to work with, that live in your own home or that, hey, you serve in Congress with, and that you serve on committees with- you might sit next to them. We have to point out to them that it’s unacceptable. This would never be happening with another minority group. This would never be happening if this was coming- if this was about racism, we would never be seeing this. But when it comes to Jews and anti-semitism, you know, there seems to be a completely different standard.
TAPPER: So you mentioned Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene, both of whom attended this white supremacist convention hosted by Nick Fuentes, who also dined with Donald Trump. Nick Fuentes is a notorious Holocaust denier who is racist, who is anti-semitic, and he’s been talking to people in the Texas Republican party, launch- which resulted in the Texas state GOP’s executive committee- somebody trying to propose a ban on associating with Nazi sympathizers and Holocaust deniers, and that was rejected, that ban. You know, a prominent conservative activist caught meeting with Nick Fuentes. But Texas Republicans thought a ban on fraternizing with Nazis might be a slippery slope, or too vague, and I have to say, I haven’t gone around to every Texas Republican or every Republican in Congress to ask them what they think, but it doesn’t seem too heavy a lift to say that you shouldn’t be fraternizing with holocaust deniers and fraternizing with Nazis.
MOSKOWITZ: Yeah, this is the first time I’ve heard someone say that we don’t want to do something with Nazis because that might be a slippery slope. A slippery slope to where? I mean, we are talking about Nazis. I mean, that used to be something that automatically people would say that this is unacceptable. But no. I mean, look- Nick Fuentes went to Mar-a-Lago and had tea and dinner with the former president. So did Kanye West. The right in this country has a problem when it comes to these neo-Nazis. We’ve seen the rallies and the marches, in Florida and other places, and we see people in the Republican Party just be silent. And they are silent because unfortunately those are their voters. And the same thing is happening on the Democratic party when we see cease-fire rallies and marches, which is a foreign policy issue, but we see people in that crowd holding signs that say “kill the Jews” and “cleanse the Jews”, we don’t see a lot of people on the left calling that out. Just quiet about it. Like, eh, “the signs didn’t happen”. Or when we see posters of hostages being ripped off of light poles around this country, as if Jews don’t exist- that they need to be erased. Again, we see people on the left just ignoring it and being quiet, and we have to call it out. This can’t be normalized. And so this is a bipartisan issue. You know, we are losing bipartisanship in this country. It’s unfortunate that the one place that we see it is when it comes to being an anti-semite.
TAPPER: Do you think that when your two colleagues- your two Democratic colleagues introduce a resolution condemning Hamas’ use of sexual violence and rape against Israeli women- do you think that Democrats are going to- there are going to be some Democrats that vote against it?
MOSKOWITZ: No, I think they’ll all vote for it, because I think actually they saw what happened and obviously, I think the congresswoman’s clarification is extremely helpful but this is part of a pattern, right? This is not just happening all of a sudden. We’ve seen a pattern of this. That there’s a double standard. Even how Israel is being criticized in this war. Look, Israel’s not perfect. But, I mean, Israel has to live up to the highest of the high standards that the United States could not meet or any other country could not meet. And so, that’s just something that we deal with- the reality of being a Jew in this country every single solitary day around the world and even in Congress, is that there is just a different standard. We saw just a couple of years ago, we tried to pass a anti-semitism resolution when Democrats had control of Congress and we couldn’t get that done by- unless we put every other group in there simultaneously. And so there’s always a watering down, that “oh, it’s not as bad” or “don’t worry, it’s just the Jews”, and this is something that the Jewish community is starting to rally around and starting to amplify, because October 7th showed the Jewish community that, yeah, the Holocaust was a long time ago but there are people who will still carry those same sentiments today around the world and in this country, Jake.
TAPPER: You think every House Democrat’s going to vote for that? That resolution against- against Hamas using rape and sexual violence? Every single one?
MOSKOWITZ: I would hope so. I mean, if they vote present, then obviously, they’re going to have to answer to the women of America.
TAPPER: I might be willing to do a wager with you offline. Democratic Congressman Jared Moskowitz. Thanks so much for your time.
MOSKOWITZ: Thanks, Jake.