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Missouri Dem who said she wished Trump would be assassinated apologizes, vows to stay put

Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D) apologized to President Donald Trump on Sunday for calling for his assassination, but she still has no plans to resign. (Image source: CNN screenshot)

A Missouri Democrat who ignited controversy last week over her call for President Donald Trump to be assassinated has apologized for her comments.

However, she said at a brief media briefing on Sunday that she has no intention to resign her seat in the Missouri state Senate despite calls from politicians on both sides of the aisle.

The apology

Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D) spoke to a small group of reporters outside a church in Ferguson where she apologized directly to Trump and his family.

"President Trump, I apologize to you and your family,” she said. "I made a mistake, and I'm owning up to it. And I'm not ever going to make a mistake like that again. I have learned my lesson. My judge and my jury is my Lord, Jesus Christ."

Resignation calls

Chappelle-Nadal’s mistake spurred an investigation from the Secret Service and calls from politicians, Republican and Democrat, for her to resign her seat in the Missouri Assembly.

"I condemn it. It’s outrageous. And she should resign,” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said.

"We can have differences in our country, but no one should encourage political violence. The senator should resign,” said Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R).

Even the state’s Democratic Party condemned her. Missouri DNC chairman Stephen Webber said in a statement: “All sides need to agree that there is no room for suggestions of political violence in America — and the Missouri Democratic Party will absolutely not tolerate calls for the assassination of the president. I believe she should resign."

The ultimatum

However, Chappelle-Nadal said she plans to stay put and continue to work for her constituents in St. Louis.

"I will continue to fight for issues that are really important,” she told reporters Sunday.

However, she may not have a choice. Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson (R) wants to expel Chappelle-Nadal from the state assembly using a provision in the state Constitution that allows its Senate to “expel a member” with a two-thirds vote. It’s not clear if that provision can be used in this case, but if it can, then Chappelle-Nadal’s political future doesn’t appear promising.

Moving forward

Whether you agree with Trump or not, no quarter should be given to any politician who calls for the assassination of anyone, from the president down to the local assemblyman. We already know what happens when someone acts on today’s extremely divisive political rhetoric — just ask Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).

Chappelle-Nadal should resign and probably never hold public office again. But there is redemption to be found in her mistake. Life’s a learning process where much growth happens with an open heart. Chappelle-Nadal is popular with her constituents, and she could do much good with her influence.

That influence just doesn’t belong in the Missouri Capitol.

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