Progressive Democratic House candidate and television personality Cenk Uyger is having an interesting couple of days.
Uyger is running for Congress in the open California 25th district that became vacant after former Democratic Rep. Katie Hill resigned following allegations that she had an improper relationship with a legislative aide. Since Uyger announced his candidacy two weeks ago, the creator and host of the Young Turks show has been slammed with accusations of misogyny over past comments on his program.
Now the congressional candidate faces another sex-related scandal — only this time it does not involve humans.
"I would legalize bestiality"
A 2013 video emerged Tuesday afternoon of Uyger telling co-host Ana Kasparian that he would legalize bestiality if he had the power to do so.
"I believe that if I were the benevolent dictator of the world, I would legalize bestiality," he said in the video. Uyger clarified he would only permit the practice if "you are pleasuring the animal. You see what I'm saying?" as his production crew laughed in the background.
Kasparian, who was visibly confused by Uyger's comment, told him "it really is the dumbest thing you've ever said." It is unclear if Uyger still stands by these remarks from 2013. It is worth noting that his show had a kind of "shock jock" style to it at times.
Cenk Uygur was 43 years old when he stated that if he was the benevolent leader of the world he'd legalize BESTIALI… https://t.co/vWeCKCMXpV— M. Mendoza Ferrer (@M. Mendoza Ferrer) 1574806827.0
Uyger then shared with Kasparian a lewd example of a case involving a horse.
"So, who got harmed?" he asked.
Kasparian responded that although what he was saying "sounded funny," his standard for allowing the practice was dubious while suggesting that consent is the key factor.
"Number one, you're being an unbelievable downer. Number two, they're not both humans," he replied. "Number three, I mean, if you really ask the horse 'Did you mind?' the answer's gotta be....," Uyger said before making a neighing sound effect.
The — um, peculiar — video of Uyger was published on Twitter the same day that President Donald Trump signed a law making animal cruelty a felony. The federal legislation builds upon a 2010 statute that banned the creation or distribution of "animal crushing" videos. In addition, the new law prohibits animal cruelty on federal lands.
"This common sense legislation restricts the creation and distribution of videos or images of animal torture," Trump said Monday at the bill signing, according to USA Today. "It is important that we combat these heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty, which are totally unacceptable in a civilized society."
The bill had strong bipartisan backing and easily passed with overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate.