Biden’s Nominee for Brazil Ambassador Faces Accusations of Antisemitism

Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, the Biden administration’s nominee to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, is facing accusations of antisemitism from both sides of the aisle after a 1998 interview surfaced in which she referred to the “Jewish lobby.”

Bagley’s State Department bio described her past service in Democratic administrations, and her career inside the Beltway:

Elizabeth Bagley’s considerable diplomatic experience spans over 20 years at the Department of State. This includes her earlier service as Congressional liaison for the Panama Canal Treaties, Special Assistant for the Camp David Accords and Congressional liaison to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Accords) in Madrid, Spain; all positions served during the Carter Administration. In 1994, Ms. Bagley was confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to Portugal under President Bill Clinton. In 1997, following her return to Washington, she served as Senior Advisor to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to head the office of Media Acquisition for the Balkans.

During the Obama Administration, Ms. Bagley was appointed as the first Special Representative for Global Partnerships, under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She continued her service at the Department of State as Senior Advisor to both Secretary Clinton and Secretary John Kerry. Before her confirmation as U.S. Ambassador to Portugal, Ms. Bagley served as Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center – her alma mater – and later as Associate Producer for ABC News in Paris, France and Washington, D.C. Ms. Bagley also served as Of Counsel to Manatt, Phelps law firm in DC, specializing in international law. Ms. Bagley is currently the owner and Board member of SBI, a cellular communications company in Show Low, AZ. Ms. Bagley’s distinguished career as a diplomat and lawyer, and her demonstrated commitment to public service make her a well-qualified candidate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Federative Republic of Brazil.

President Joe Biden sent Bagley’s nomination to the Senate this January. In her May confirmation hearing, she faced some questions from Democrats — not just Republicans — about her past use of language that implies Jewish control over politics.

The Washington Free Beacon reported Wednesday:

Bagley, in a 1998 interview, a full copy of which was obtained by the Free Beacon, bemoaned “the influence of the Jewish lobby because there is major money involved.” She went on to claim “the Democrats always tend to go with the Jewish constituency on Israel and say stupid things, like moving the capital to Jerusalem always comes up.” Support for these Israel-related issues are due to “the Jewish factor, it’s money.” The interview was conducted by a historian at the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training for an oral history project.

Senate sources involved in the confirmation process said Bagley’s comments should disqualify her from the ambassador’s role and told the Free Beacon that both Democrats and Republicans on the Senate committee have privately expressed concerns about these remarks.

“Is it a suggestion that one group of Americans don’t have the right to engage in the political process as others do?” [New Jersey Senator Bob] Menendez asked (D). “Words, especially for those who are going to be ambassadors of the United States to other countries are incredibly important, probably more significant than maybe in our individual daily lives.”

Some Jewish groups and activists are outraged.

The Republican Jewish Coalition’s executive director, Matt Brooks, said in a statement: “Ms. Bagley’s disgraceful, antisemitic comments are absolutely disqualifying; her outrageous slurs include suggesting the ‘Jewish lobby’ influences elected officials with ‘major money’ – an age-old antisemitic stereotype.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was scheduled to hold a vote Thursday on advancing Ms. Bagley’s nomination to the floor.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.



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