A Republican activist who donated $20,000 to Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis tweeted that President Obama was a “MUSLIM N——,” Politico reported Thursday.
Steven Alembik, who also lined up a speech for DeSantis at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, told Politico that he wrote the tweet in anger. He denied being a racist and said he understood if the campaign distanced itself from him, which it did immediately.
“We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: we adamantly denounce this sort of disgusting rhetoric,” DeSantis campaign spokesman Stephen Lawson wrote in a statement.
The incident is the fifth raced-related issue that DeSantis, his campaign or one of his supporters has faced since the beginning of the general election campaign, according to Politico. DeSantis was criticized the day after he won his primary election for saying in an interview that the economic policies of Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum, who is African-American, would “monkey this up.” Alembik had defended DeSantis’ comments.
The Forward exclusively reported earlier this month that a pro-DeSantis political action committee reimbursed $11,000 in donations from Alembik in June. But Politico reported that it kept $2,000 of his donations. Alembik told Politico that he asked for the money back because he donated from the wrong bank account.
Alembik’s biography on the website of the Zionist Organization of America, which appears to have since been deleted, lists Israel among his passions. He is also a leader of a group called The Truth About Israel, which controversially held its annual fundraiser last November at Mar-a-Lago, even after many other groups cancelled.