One Nebraska Democratic Party official lost his post after an audio recording revealed him saying he is “glad” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot last week during the Republicans’ congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.
“His whole job is to get people, convince Republicans to [expletive] kick people off [expletive] health care,” Phil Montag, who was a technology chairman for the party, can be heard saying. “I’m glad he got shot.”
Scalise was severely wounded in the shooting carried out by 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, who was a volunteer on Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I) 2016 presidential campaign. The GOP lawmaker was shot in the hip and has not yet been released from the hospital, where he has undergone several surgeries.
“I wish he was [expletive] dead,” Montag continued.
Jane Kleeb, chairwoman of the Nebraska Democratic Party, confirmed Thursday to KPTM-TV that the audio recording, which was first posted to YouTube, is Montag’s voice. Kleeb said she fired Montag when the tape became public.
“We obviously condemn any kind of violence, whether it’s comments on Facebook or comments in a meeting,” she said. “Our country is better than the political rhetoric that is out there from both the far right and the far left.”
The revelation about Montag’s grotesque comments comes less than one week after another Nebraska state Democratic leader was asked to resign for similarly disturbing comments she wrote on Facebook about last week’s shooting.
Chelsey Gentry-Tipton, chairwoman of the Nebraska Democratic Party’s black caucus, seemed indifferent if not happy about the fact that Scalise was shot.
“Watching the congressman crying on live tv abt the trauma they experienced. Y is this so funny tho?” she wrote in a since-deleted Facebook status, per KPTM.
In another post, she wrote: “Hard to be empathetic towards those that have no empathy for us. The very people that push pro NRA legislation in efforts to pad their pockets with complete disregard for human life. Yeah, having a hard time feeling bad for them.”
Kleeb described Gentry-Tipton’s remarks as “troubling” and said they “show the ugly political divide” currently plaguing the United States. For her part, Gentry-Tipton claimed her comments were “taken out of context,” though she failed to explain how.
Just hours after the horrific shooting in Alexandria, Sanders took to the floor of the Senate to condemn Hodgkinson’s “despicable” actions.
“I am sickened by this despicable act, and let me be as clear as I can be: Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” he said at the time.