MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Tech giant Intel has reportedly asked for a campaign contribution refund from U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-1st District) after he made a social media post saying that Black Lives Matter protesters were “at war” with the country and “western culture.”

Popular Information reported Thursday that Intel is asking Hagedorn to refund the $4,000 it donated to his campaign in 2018. In a statement, the tech company told the website that it would not make future contributions to Hagedorn as his recent statements do not align with the company’s values. The company added that it changed how it donated to political candidates in 2019.

Last month, Hagedorn criticized the activist Shaun King, who is aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement, after he wrote an article calling for images depicting Jesus as white to be torn down. King argued that such images are a form of white supremacy. On Facebook, Hagedorn commented on King’s article, saying that the “Democrat ‘Black Lives Matter’ Party” and its “army of rioters” were at war with America and “western culture.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an anti-hate watchdog group, appeals to defend western culture or values are often used to promote white nationalism, The Washington Post reports.

The Minnesota DLF said Thursday that it wasn’t surprised to see former supporters of Hagedorn distancing themselves from him, adding that he has a history of making offensive comments.

“Instead of trying to unite Minnesotans around solving our shared problems, Congressman Hagedorn is hurling vile and inflammatory insults meant to divide communities for his political gain,” said Brian Evans, a DFL Party spokesperson, in a statement. “Minnesotans should expect so much better from our political leaders, especially in times of crisis.”

A spokesperson from Rep. Hagedorn’s office sent the following statement to WCCO Thursday evening:

Several weeks ago, a national Black Lives Matter organizational leader encouraged the destruction of images of Jesus Christ and Christianity because, in his view, they represented white supremacy.

I publicly responded by calling on the American people to reject such violence and destruction and stand up for America, our history, culture and the values we hold dear that make us the greatest country in the world.

We are one nation, under God. I have and will continue to fight for liberty and equal justice under the law for every citizen of our country, no matter their race, religion or background, while rejecting extremist political rhetoric and tactics.

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