candace owen
© AFP / Zach Gibson / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA
Candace Owens of Turning Point USA
Sparks flew in the House of Representatives as Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) tried to accuse conservative activist Candace Owens of being an apologist for Adolf Hitler at a hearing on hate crimes and white nationalism.

Owens, an African-American activist with Turning Point USA and a prominent supporter of President Donald Trump, was one of the witnesses invited by the Republican minority on the House Judiciary Committee.

"Of all the people the Republicans could have selected, they picked Candace Owens," said Lieu. He then played a 30-second clip of Owens supposedly praising Hitler, and asked Anti-Defamation League's senior VP of policy Eileen Hershenov for comment if people seeking to "legitimize Hitler" was "playing into white nationalist ideology."

The snippet Lieu played was from a December 2018 event in the UK, where Owens was trying to answer a question from an audience member about the legitimacy of nationalism by pointing out that nationalism and Hitler's ideology of national-socialism were not the same thing. BuzzFeed featured the clip of her response - minus the question and context - in a story in February, leading to a partisan brawl on social media.

Given a chance to respond by a Republican lawmaker, Owens lit into Lieu, saying he must think African-Americans were "stupid" and would not seek out the full video, and calling the move "unbelievably dishonest."

This prompted Committee chair Jerry Nadler (D-New York) to interrupt and demand that Owens "may not refer to a member of the committee as stupid."

"I didn't refer to him as stupid. That's not what I said at all," Owens replied. "You didn't listen to what I said."

Nadler's response was a shrug.

Owens had attracted the ire of Democrats on the committee by arguing that the hearing was not about white nationalism or hate crimes but "about fear-mongering, power and control."

"The goal here is to scare blacks, Hispanics, gays and Muslims, helping [Democrats] censor dissenting opinions ... helping them regain control," she said. "White supremacy, racism, white nationalism, words that once held real meaning, have now become nothing more than election strategies."

The president's son, Don Jr. praised Owens on social media after the hearing, and roasted Lieu for attempting to discredit her by claiming she somehow supported Hitler. He wasn't the only one.