Andrew Torba, Gab CEO and consultant to Republican Pennsylvania gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, responded to criticism of Mastriano using his antisemitic platform by telling Jews that “we're not bending the knee to the 2% anymore.” He also said that people are “done” with them and they won’t be “told what we're allowed to do in our own country by a 2% minority.”
Mastriano stated in a campaign filing for his Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign that he paid $5,000 to far-right social media platform Gab for “consulting” services on April 28. HuffPost’s Christopher Mathias subsequently reported that the payment seems to be for new followers, as “every new account currently being created on Gab automatically follows Mastriano.” (Torba has denied this while Mastriano has responded by retweeting someone calling the strategy “creative campaigning.”)
In a May interview with Torba, Mastriano told him: “Thank God for what you’ve done.”
Gab caters to far-right extremists, including those who have been banned from other platforms. The site is filled with antisemites, white nationalists, and neo-Nazis. One of its users was the mass shooter who allegedly killed 11 people at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue in 2018.
Torba himself is antisemitic and has complained that “pagans, Jews, non-believers, atheists” have too much political power, which has purportedly led to destructive results. He has also explicitly said that he does not want Jews in his movement, stating last week: “We don't want people who are atheists. We don't want people who are Jewish. We don't want people who are, you know, nonbelievers, agnostic, whatever. This is an explicitly Christian movement because this is an explicitly Christian country.”
Media outlets and politicians have criticized Mastriano’s embrace of Gab, but he has continued to support the platform by posting there. He recently liked a tweet accusing his Democratic opponent Josh Shapiro of “‘shoving' his religion by playing the antisemitic card."
The Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt yesterday appeared on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports and criticized Mastriano for his use of Gab. Torba responded to the ADL in a video posted yesterday by saying that he and his allies are taking back the country from Jews.
“We're not going to listen to 2%. You represent 2% of the country, OK? We're not bending the knee to the 2% anymore.” He added that Christians are “done being controlled and being told what we're allowed to do in our own country by a 2% minority or by people who hate our biblical worldview, hate our Christ, hate our Lord and savior.”