Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) this week tried to downplay alleged attempts by Russian actors to influence the 2016 presidential election by comparing the cyber attacks to a performance by a Mexican entertainer at a Hillary Clinton campaign event.
“Harry Reid and the Democrats brought in Mexican soap opera stars, singers and entertainers who had immense influence in those communities into Las Vegas, to entertain, get out the vote and so forth,” he told The Dallas Morning News in an interview published Thursday. “Those are foreign actors, foreign people, influencing the vote in Nevada. You don’t hear the Democrats screaming and saying one word about that.”
When asked if he would compare the performance by a Mexican singer to Russian cyber attacks, Conaway replied, “Sure it is, it’s foreign influence. If we’re worried about foreign influence, let’s have the whole story.”
Conaway was likely referencing Vicente Fernández, a Mexican singer who recorded a song supporting Clinton in September and appeared at an October campaign event in Las Vegas with Clinton and Democratic Senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto, who won her race, as the Dallas Morning News noted. American band Los Tigres del Norte and American singer Angélica María also appeared at the event.
Cortez Masto, now a senator, criticized Conaway in a Thursday night tweet.
This is a pathetic and offensive attempt to try to diminish the consensus that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to boost Donald Trump. https://t.co/XEVmmLatBD
— Senator Cortez Masto (@SenCortezMasto) January 13, 2017