Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee apologized Wednesday for posting and incorrectly citing an article to his official Facebook page that claimed two Northwestern University students charged with hate crimes and vandalism in March were “liberal, Jewish” students.
The students, who have since been expelled, reportedly vandalized Alice Miller Chapel on Northwestern’s campus by tagging anti-black, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic and anti-gay graffiti eight months ago, however, the Conservative Tribune’s article claimed the alleged crimes took place recently amid uprisings across the country in response to President-elect Donald Trump’s victory last week. The Tribune, one of 50 sites under the conservative umbrella of Liftable Media, has since corrected the article and issued its own apology.
Huckabee issued the apology after the New York Daily News called him out for the post on Wednesday afternoon, a report that stressed Huckabee linked to the article as if it had just occurred. Meanwhile, mainstream media outlets have not provided any evidence that the students were in fact Jewish.
“[The Daily News] accused me of spreading false information and hatred, and demanded an apology. And they’re right, I do owe readers an apology,” Huckabee explained on his page. “Due to a posting error, the story was actually from last March, but it appeared to be a new story. I didn’t remember the original story and assumed it was new. For that mistake, I sincerely apologize. But the facts of the story were otherwise accurate. ”
The apology is major rollback from Huckabee’s initial comment on Wednesday, which stated the suspects were “liberal, Jewish Northwestern students who were trying to smear Trump and his supporters,” The Daily News showed in a screenshot of the since-deleted Facebook post.
"Everything You Know Is Wrong Dept: Liberals went ballistic after someone defaced the chapel at Northwestern University in Chicago, using spray paint to deface photos of Muslim students, draw swastikas and write slurs against blacks and gays, and of course, the name 'Trump.;” Huckabee’s original post read in part. “Can you believe what those evil, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic deplorables who support Trump did?!"
Matthew Kafker and Anthony Morales, the two suspects, are facing 24 charges that include hate crimes and property damage and they each pleaded not guilty in May, according to The Daily Northwestern, and they won’t be back in court until Nov. 21.