Elise Stefanik took a page from the Donald Trump media playbook during a weekend victory lap appearance on Fox News, leading off with a flex on the number of views for the Republican congresswoman’s viral grilling of three university presidents on Capitol Hill.
Last week, Stefanik led a congressional panel about antisemitism on college campuses, roasting the presidents of the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and M.I.T. for their equivocating answers. Penn president Elizabeth Magill resigned on Saturday, just four days after the hearing, with pressure still mounting on the other two.
“They failed on a global stage,” Stefanik said Sunday on “Live, Liberty and Levin.” “What will go down in congressional history as the most-viewed congressional testimony in the history of the United States Congress.”
She later went on to say the hearing attracted “over one billion views.”
The congresswoman from upstate New York did not say by what metric she had arrived at that conclusion, nor was it immediately clear what the previous benchmark would be. On YouTube, the hearing had been chopped up and distributed by multiple outlets and accounts with view counts in the low thousands (Stefanik’s own account) to the tens (C-SPAN) and hundreds of thousands of views (Forbes Breaking News).
To say it was widely watched, however, is not an overstatement.
Stefanik’s pointed questions – does calling for the genocide of Jews violate school policy? – repeatedly glanced off Magill, Dr. Claudine Gay of Harvard and M.I.T.’s Sally Kornbluth, each of whom offered evasive answers citing the need for “action” and context.
“I asked the question in such away that it would and should have been an easy ‘yes,’” Stefanik told Fox News host Mark Levin. “But not a single University president answered it correctly. Instead, their answers dehumanized the Jewish people. The answers reeked of antisemitism and went as far as to say ‘Well, it has to move to conduct or action. And I followed up with, ‘You mean the act of committing genocide?’”
Stefanik went on to call for the firing of all three university presidents “because they don’t deserve the dignity of resignation”; a congressional investigation; prosecution of “illegal targeting of Jewish students”; and a complete federal defunding of any schools that participate in it.
“We’re not going to hesitate to subpoena communications, documents, all aspects of how these schools and others have mismanaged the problem,” she said.
Watch the entire exchange in the clip above.