Only former Congressman Joe Walsh would take credit for one of the most incendiary tweets of the past year.
On Monday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted out a meme comparing Syrian refugees to a bowl of poisoned Skittles, but Walsh later pointed out that he made the same point last month.
“If I had a bowl of skittles [sic] and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful,” the meme asked. “That’s our Syrian refugee problem."
The tweet, which is stamped with the Trump Pence logo, has since received widespread backlash on social media.
Walsh responded Monday evening seeking credit for the controversial tweet.
“Hey @DonaldJTrumpJr, that’s the point I made last month,” Walsh tweeted at the billionaire’s son. “Glad you agree.”
Walsh, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Illinois’ 8th Congressional District from 2011 to 2013, tweeted out a strikingly similar message in August.
“If I had a bowl of Skittles and told you 3 of them would kill you: Would you eat a handful,” Walsh asked in the tweet. “No? This is our refugee problem.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, Walsh told Chicago Inc. Tuesday that “Muslim countries have to stand up and do more.” He also said he would tell a refugee who was trying to bring their family to safety and found his analogy to be foolish, “Tough.” He also told Chicago Inc. that his favorite Skittles are the purple ones.
Skittles responded to Trump Jr.’s tweet in a statement obtained by NBC News Tuesday.
“Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy,” Skittles Vice President of Corporate Affairs Denise Young said in a statement. “We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”
According to the Tribune, the senior Trump has advocated ideological vetting for Muslim visitors to the U.S. and has called for a moratorium on immigration from war-torn Syria, a region that has been crippled by the rise of ISIS.