January 30, 2021 - 3:40 PM
Several Twitter users were duped into condemning a presumed call for violence against supporters of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that was actually a call made by Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters against Trump supporters last year.
A tweet from an anti-Cuomo Twitter account posted this week that repeated a controversial quote from Waters but changed the words to appear like a threat against Cuomo supporters read: "If you see anybody from the Cuomo Administration in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere.” -Maxine CuomoWatch.”
Soon after the tweet was posted, Twitter users, some of them verified, condemned the tweet — seemingly unaware that Waters had made the comments in the past.
“This is appalling and dangerous,” Democratic New York State Assemblyman Carl Heastie tweeted. “Encouraging violence must never be tolerated. Shame on whoever is behind this kind of garbage.”
“This is beyond outrageous,” Democratic New York State Sen. Diane Savino tweeted. “Two weeks ago we saw what happened when arsonists throw gas around. Twitter should ban this dude now!”
“This is dangerous, reprehensible and has no place in any public discussion,” Ken Zebrowski, who is also a Democrat state assemblyman from New York, tweeted while acknowledging the comment had been made before. “Oh, and spare me the ‘someone else did it too’ excuse. Someone else saying a variation of this doesn’t change the fact that this is seeking to incite violence against a public official and their staff.”
Hours after the original tweet, the original account posted a follow-up criticizing those who took issue with the “context” of the tweet.
“Some of the responses feature mental gymnastics to defend#MaxineWaters, citing the context was 'kids in cages,'" the tweet read. “The needle on the moral compass moves for kids in cages, but finds no direction for dead grandmas. Interesting."
Cuomo has been widely criticized over the past few days following a report suggesting that his government underreported coronavirus deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%.