MSNBC's Geist presses Castro on sharing Trump donors' names: These people 'are already being harassed'

Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin Castro This week: Congress set for bipartisan coronavirus talks as clock ticks Sherman joins race for House Foreign Affairs gavel Castro launches bid for House Foreign Affairs gavel MORE (D-Texas) on Wednesday was pressed by MSNBC's Willie Geist after he used his Twitter account earlier in the week to identify a number of people who had made the maximum allowable donations to President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE's campaign.

Geist said that the Trump donors “are undoubtedly already being harassed online or perhaps face-to-face in some cases" because of Castro's actions. 

Castro, the brother of 2020 Democratic hopeful Julián Castro and chairman of his campaign, faced pushback on Tuesday from a number of conservatives for sharing the list of names. He said he published the names because he hopes that people “will think twice about contributing to [Trump's] campaign.”

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“What I hope is that this has started a conversation about what exactly Donald Trump is doing with these people's money," Joaquin Castro explained. "And I hope donors in San Antonio and donors throughout the country, unless you support the white nationalism and the racism that Donald Trump is paying for and fueling, then I hope that you, as a person of good conscience, will think twice about contributing to his campaign.”

“Morning Joe” co-host Geist tried several times to get Castro to explain his position further.

“Congressman, as you look at this list — and you even put their addresses out there. It's easy to find them,” Geist said. “These people are undoubtedly already being harassed online or perhaps face to face in some cases, they could be.”

“What do you say to those people this morning when you say, 'I made a campaign donation and now I'm going to be harassed? I'm going to have people protesting outside my business or perhaps even my home?' What do you say to them? Do you want them to repent for their support of President Trump or what do you want from them?”

Castro said he does not want anyone “harassed or targeted” over the donations, but Geist quickly said “they will be because you put their names in public.”

“That was not my intention,” Castro replied. “These things are public. No, what I want is for people to think twice about supporting a guy who is fueling hate in this country.”

“It's public information," co-host Mika Brzezisnki attempted to interject.

Geist pushed back again later, pointing to Castro's comments that President Trump's rhetoric has led to violence.

“If you agree rhetoric can lead to incitement, even if it triggers one person to do something terrible, does it give you any pause to put these names out in public?" Geist asked.

"Well, Willie, they're already public, they're already out there," Castro responded.

"There are 11 retirees and one homemaker who are not public," Geist noted.

"And this was already circulating. I shared it, so I didn't create the graphic," Castro replied.

"Morning Joe" co-hosts Joe ScarboroughCharles (Joe) Joseph ScarboroughHillicon Valley: NSA warns of new security threats | Teen accused of Twitter hack pleads not guilty | Experts warn of mail-in voting misinformation House Democrat calls on Facebook to take down doctored Pelosi video Hillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video MORE and Brzezinski defended Castro earlier in the interview, with the latter arguing that Castro was only "reframing" public information.

"If you're proud of funding President Trump, you need to understand that that will be public information. And all you're doing is trying to explain what it is in terms of the policies or the morals that you are funding," Brzezinski said.

Geist is also the anchor "Sunday Today with Willie Geist."

Trump travels to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, today after mass shootings in those cities rocked the nation last weekend.