DHS Chief Takes Down Sen. Josh Hawley In Viral Clash

"Perhaps he does not know that I am the child of a Holocaust survivor," Alejandro Mayorkas said.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas blasted Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) for implying the department he leads endorses antisemitism in a viral exchange at a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Hawley was questioning Mayorkas about a DHS employee who reportedly made inflammatory social media posts denouncing Israel after Hamas militants launched a brutal attack there on Oct. 7.

The employee was placed on administrative leave. Hawley repeatedly demanded to know if she had been fired; Mayorkas said he could not speak about an “ongoing personnel matter.”

Among a volley of questions, Hawley asked, “Is this typical of people who work at DHS?” and called Mayorkas “despicable” for not answering his queries.

After several minutes of heated questioning, Mayorkas, who is Jewish, gave a rebuttal.

“What I found despicable is the implication that this language, tremendously odious, actually could be emblematic of the sentiments of the 260,000 men and women of the Department of Homeland Security,” he said.

He also noted the senator’s “adversarial approach to me in this question” and wondered, “perhaps he doesn’t know my own background.”

“Perhaps he does not know that I am the child of a Holocaust survivor,” he said. “Perhaps he does not know that my mother lost almost all her family at the hands of the Nazis. And so I find his adversarial tone to be entirely misplaced. I find it to be disrespectful of me and my heritage.”

Hawley posted a seven-minute video of the questioning on his Senate website, cropped to end right before Mayorkas’ rebuke.

A clip of Mayorkas’ remarks posted by media watcher @Acyn has been viewed more than 3 million times.

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