Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway implied that media criticism of President Donald Trump is responsible for the recent attack on Republican officials and said her detractors would celebrate if she were murdered.
Appearing on "Fox & Friends" on June 16, the White House adviser recommended that people go back and look at what the various media outlets were saying as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson opened fire on Republicans practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game. He wounded four people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
"I did a clever thing and I went back and looked at exactly what was being discussed on all the TV shows except yours at 7:09 a.m. on Wednesday when this happened," Conway said, according to Raw Story. "And it’s a really curious exercise because as Steve Scalise was fighting for his life and crawling into right field in a trail of blood, you should go back and see what people were saying about the president and the Republicans at that very moment."
"Of course, they had to break in with the news of this tragedy, and since then there’s been some introspection -- some quieter, more muted voices toning down the rhetoric," she added.
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Conway went on to speculate about how news of her own murder would be received by the public.
"But look at Twitter," she said. "If I were shot and killed tomorrow half of Twitter would explode in applause and excitement. This is the world we live in now."
"It's terrible. Because, again, it's one thing to say, 'I disagree with you on healthcare repeal or on taxes or on your plan for national security,' but you can't attack people personally … and think that tragedies like this won't happen."
Hodgkinson, who died after a shootout with police, was a virulent critic of the Republican Party. He posted numerous political messages on social media in which he called for higher taxes on the rich and argued that Trump should be impeached.
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"Trump is a traitor," he wrote in March, according to NPR. "Trump has destroyed our democracy. It's time to destroy Trump & co."
The shooter also wrote frequent letters to his local newspaper, the Belleville News-Democrat.
"We need to vote all Republicans out of office," he wrote in 2011. "Let's work to get this country back."
A letter sent to the paper in 2008 read: "This country is in need of a major change in more ways than one, but let's start with the federal income tax rates."
Hodgkinson reportedly volunteered for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. The Vermont senator was quick to condemn the shooting, describing it as a "despicable act."