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Congressman Allen West believes 78-81 members of the U.S. House are communists

That would be 42 percent of the House Democrats

Speaking to a town hall meeting in Palm City, Florida, U.S. Rep. Allen West said that he believes between 78 and 81 members of the U.S. House are members of the Communist Party. He offered no proof and later said it was just something that he had heard.

If you don’t believe he could have said quite exactly that (as I could not when I first heard about it), here’s the video:

It appears that the question from the audience is “How many, or what percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists or international socialists?”

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Replied West: “I believe it is about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party.”

According to other coverage of the event, West later said he was referring to the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest Democratic caucus, which has more than 75 members and is the largest subcaucus within the larger Dem caucus in the House.

There is an ugly history of Sen. Joe McCarthy and others irresponsibly making up numbers of Communists in Congress and other elements of the U.S. government. Unless Rep. West has proof and produces a credible source for his statement, this is outrageous. West should be shunned and sanctioned until he makes a full explanation and, assuming he cannot back up the statement, retraction.