Doug Mastriano backs ultra-Orthodox rabbi who sympathizes with Capitol riots and thinks Hitler was a lizard

Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano speaks during a campaign rally at The Fuge on May 14, 2022 in Warminster, Pennsylvania.Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

  • PA gubernatorial candidate Mastriano claimed an endorsement from Joseph Kolakowski, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi.

  • Kolakowski has expressed sympathy for the Capitol rioters and believes that Hitler was part lizard.

  • Kolakowski told Insider that he felt Mastriano was “falsely maligned” as anti-Semitic.

Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano has secured an endorsement from Joseph Kolakowski, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi who expressed sympathy for the Capitol rioters and believes Hitler was part lizard.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Mastriano shared a story from the Epoch Times, a far-right publication, with his supporters at social media headlined: “Rabbi applauds Mastriano as Shapiro calls him anti-Semite at Pennsylvania governor’s race.”

In the article, Kolakowski — who leads a Hasidic Jewish ministry in Pennsylvania — defended Mastriano, saying, “while Democrats have the chutzpah to claim that those of us from the Party of Lincoln are somehow racist, they don’t look at racists tenants of their own party, including abortion and gun control, which cause undue and disproportionate harm to people of color and are historically rooted in overtly racist ideologies.”

The Inquirer reported that the 38-year-old rabbi frequently posts on his YouTube channel about baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election, his support for the Capital riots and belief in a theory that Adolf Hitler was part lizard.

In a video about the Nazi dictator, the rabbi said there was “a reason he never took off his boots.”

“[It] it was to hide the fact that his legs were reptilian in nature because he came from that non-human race, the demon race. It was a hybrid.”

In an email to Insider, Kolakowski acknowledged his previous comments about Hitler, but said the story may be more of an urban legend and he doesn’t know “whether it’s literally true.” He also said he reached out to Mastriano’s campaign because he felt the senator was being “falsely portrayed” as anti-Semitic.

In an interview with the Inquirer, Kolakowski said after he approached the campaign, he was asked to write something. His statements were later published in the Epoch Times.

Jewish leaders and Democrats criticized the Trump-backed candidate for his ties to far-right extremists and his efforts to drum up support on Gab, a social network founded by a self-proclaimed Christian nationalist.

Mastriano praised the site’s founder, Andrew Torba, who said Jews are not welcome in his movement. Insider reported that Mastriano also paid the site $5,000, per campaign finance deposits.

Mastriano is running against Democratic candidate Josh Shapiro in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial election. Recent polls show Shapiro leading his opponent by 7.3 points.

Mastriano’s campaign did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *