Critics erupted Thursday when Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) responded to a bomb threat at the U.S. Capitol by saying he “understands” citizen anger over “socialism.”
The startling remark was part of a statement Books issued after police took Floyd Ray Roseberry of North Carolina into custody after he allegedly threatened to detonate an explosive device in his truck, which was parked outside the Library of Congress. The threat forced people in several nearby buildings and homes to evacuate.
Roseberry had previously slammed President Joe Biden and called for a “revolution” on social media.
Brooks said of the terrifying situation: “Although this terrorist’s motivation is not yet publicly known … generally speaking, I understand citizenry anger directed at dictatorial Socialism and its threat to liberty, freedom and the very fabric of American society.”
Presumably, Brooks was baselessly characterizing the U.S. as a socialist nation.
The lawmaker also barely condemned the violent plot, describing it only as sad and too common.
“Sadly, violence and threats of violence targeting America’s political institutions are far too common,” Brooks wrote before he urged “patriotic Americas” to “fight back” by voting.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) blasted Brooks’ statement on Twitter as “evil.” He said in a follow-up tweet that the Republican Party has to decide between “stoking sympathy for domestic terrorists” or taking “a stand for truth.”
The Republican lawmaker added: “I’ve made my decision, and so has Mo.”
“It is astonishing that this needs to be said,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) angrily tweeted, “but no one who serves in Congress should be expressing public sympathy with the views of a terrorist who threatened to blow up the U.S. Capitol.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said sarcastically of Brooks’ tweet: “Tell us you stand with the terrorist without telling us you stand with the terrorist.”
He added in another tweet: “What bothers so many of my House Democratic colleagues about this tweet is that we know if Rep. Mo Brooks wasn’t in Congress on January 6 he would have been on the other side of the chamber with the violent mob.”
Swalwell filed a lawsuit earlier this year accusing Brooks — along with former President Donald Trump and Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani — of “inciting an attack against the Capitol that terrorized lawmakers and prevented us from certifying the votes of the American people” on Jan. 6. The Department of Justice has stated it will not defend Brooks against the suit.
Brooks — who was wearing body armor on Jan. 6 after being warned that there could be violence that day — nevertheless urged Trump supporters in a speech to start “kicking ass.” He told the crowd that their “ancestors” sacrificed their “blood” and even “lives” and asked if they were “willing to do the same.”
The Alabama Democratic Party pointed out that Brooks had once quoted Adolf Hitler on the floor of the House.
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