CNN host Brianna Keilar grilled Texas Lt. Governor candidate Matthew Dowd (D), a former Republican strategist running as a Democrat, during an interview on Monday over why he deleted hundreds of thousands of tweets right before announcing that he was running for office.
Dowd claimed that it was a “conspiracy theory” conjured up by Fox News before almost immediately admitting that he deleted up to 270,000 “old tweets.”
“But why?” Keilar asked.
“Cleaning up my files long before I even thought about running in this race,” he claimed. “But again, it’s a typical Fox thing to turn to some conspiracy, thinking it has more meaning than it actually does.”
“Why did you do it, then?” Keilar asked.
“I just said, Brianna, I did it because I just wanted to clean up all of my files and get rid of all of the stuff that had accumulated over time,” he claimed. “There’s no reason.”
“I understand that, but this isn’t like emptying your e-mail inbox, to be clear, getting rid of all your old e-mails,” she continued.
Keilar again pressed Dowd, asking, why he deleted the tweets knowing that doing so would “illicit scrutiny.”
“So, what I think is happening, Brianna, and I think it’s unfortunate, is Fox News does this, which is dreams up some conspiracy theory, as they always do, which is obviously not — has nothing to do with anything of what we’re talking about. And then people begin to repeat it,” he claimed. “Again, I cleaned up my inbox in, I think, it was May or June — just deleted all my old tweets. I have — I think I have 5,000 sitting there. And so, I just think we shouldn’t play into Fox’s new sort of conspiracy theories.”
Matthew Dowd said he “just decided” earlier in the summer to delete his old tweets and said it’s a “conspiracy theory” to suggest otherwise.
He deleted around 175,000 tweets a few months before his campaign announcement. This isn’t hard to figure out. pic.twitter.com/3h7NUOSry5
— Cameron Cawthorne (@Cam_Cawthorne) October 4, 2021
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Matthew, you’re well aware you are being attacked by Republicans and Fox for deleting thousands of tweets. How many tweets did you delete?
MATTHEW DOWD, POLITICAL CANDIDATE (D): I don’t know. I think what I did was — and this was long before I — this is funny about Fox, who looks for anything to sort of come up with some conspiracy theory, as they do.
Earlier in the summer, I thought I have 270,00-260,000 tweets that have just been accumulated. I just decided to go through and delete all of my old tweets, whatever it happened to be. So there’s no conspiracy thing here. It’s just —
KEILAR: But why?
DOWD: — cleaning up my files long before I even thought about running in this race.
But again, it’s a typical Fox thing to turn to some conspiracy, thinking it has more meaning than it actually does.
KEILAR: Why did you do it, then?
DOWD: I just said, Brianna, I did it because I just wanted to clean up all of my files and get rid of all of the stuff that had accumulated over time.
KEILAR: I mean, I am —
DOWD: There’s no reason. As you know —
KEILAR: I understand that, but this isn’t like emptying your e-mail inbox, to be clear. Getting rid of all your old e-mails.
DOWD: Well, I empty my e-mail inbox every single day and I’m a — I’m a person that empties the e-mails and trashes all the stuff. There is no reason, Brianna. You can Google Matthew Dowd and find out everything you possibly want to know about my history and everything I’ve said. So, everything I’ve said has been public for the last 20 years. It’s not a problem. It’s been completely — everybody knows who I am, what I’ve done, and what I’ve said because I’ve said it on national television over and over and over for the last two decades.
KEILAR: Then why delete them because you know that is going to raise eyebrows? That’s going to illicit scrutiny. I mean, in the age of when anyone deletes anything or isn’t forthcoming with, say, e-mails — I mean, look, we know where this goes. You know that it’s going to grab attention.
DOWD: So, what I think is happening, Brianna, and I think it’s unfortunate, is Fox News does this, which is dreams up some conspiracy theory, as they always do, which is obviously not — has nothing to do with anything of what we’re talking about. And then people begin to repeat it.
Again, I cleaned up my inbox in, I think, it was May or June — just deleted all my old tweets. I have — I think I have 5,000 sitting there. And so, I just think we shouldn’t play into Fox’s new sort of conspiracy theories
KEILAR: I mean, I think it’s an important question to ask, which is why I’m asking it.
DOWD: Well, you asked it and I answered it. You asked it and I answered it three times.
KEILAR: I do want to ask you about something that you wrote in 2018. You said, “I would humbly suggest that we as white male Christians take it upon ourselves to step back and give more people who don’t look like us access to the levers of power. As a white male Christian in America, I am part of a dwindling subset that has held the levers of power politically and economically in nearly every field for the entire history of the United States.”
So, obviously, you were expressing sentiment that there needed to be more representation in representation, and now you are running for lieutenant governor. How do you — how do you square these things?
DOWD: I think they’re completely squarable. I have said it and I mean it. And I think, actually, the table should be made bigger. That the only way to do that and to have access for people of color, for women, and all that is to create a bigger table. And for people that have held power and held sway and stood up, and to step back.
I think it would be great if people of color, women run for offices, which they will do in Texas along the way. So I hope that happens. I’m encouraging that to happen. I don’t think there’s any sort of misalignment between those two things. I believe that.
And I believe that we should make the table as big and as broad as possible to fill everybody so it looks as diverse as America does.
KEILAR: Matthew, I want to thank you for coming on this morning. Obviously, you have quite a race ahead of you and so much going on in Texas, and we appreciate your time.
DOWD: Thanks, Brianna.
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