Missouri state Rep. Warren Love (R) called for the lynching of a Confederate monument protester who allegedly defaced a monument in the Springfield National Cemetery.
Just a day after he issued his controversial remarks, he addressed the violent rhetoric on social media that he said came as a result of his outrage over the desecration.
The vandalism and Love's reaction
On Wednesday, Love shared a story on Facebook titled, "Vandal throws paint on Confederate statue," which referred to the incident.
When he shared the article, Love added his own caption: "This is totally against the law," he wrote on Facebook. "I hope they are found & hung from a tall free with a long rope."
After Love wished for controversial repercussions to the vandal's actions, some called for his resignation.
Stephen Webber, the chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, was adamant that Love needed to resign as a result of his commentary.
"This is a call for lynching by a sitting State Representative,” Webber tweeted. "Calls for poltical [sic] violence are unacceptable. He needs to resign."
This is a call for lynching by a sitting State Representative. Calls for poltical violence are unacceptable. He needs to resign. #molegpic.twitter.com/FZCNmsLLY7
— Stephen Webber (@s_webber) August 30, 2017
Rep. Bruce Franks (D-Mo.) voiced tongue-in-cheek shock over Love's comments on Twitter as well. Franks asked, "Damn Warren that's how you feel?"
Damn Warren that's how you feel? pic.twitter.com/DfSBGkYVzM
— Bruce Franks Jr (@brucefranksjr) August 30, 2017
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) also called for Love's resignation, saying in a statement, "Representative Love should resign for his unacceptable comments."
Love explains his comments
Love spoke to ThinkProgress on Thursday, where he addressed his comments — and refused to resign over the backlash he received as a result of them.
"What I should’ve wrote is that I hope that they are brought to justice and apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Love clarified. "That’s what I shoulda wrote. That would have been a very politically correct statement."
He added, "Anyone regardless of age, gender, or race that would desecrate or vandalize an object of remembrance is a lowlife that has no respect for memorials that have been placed by loved ones of people that want to honor that individual. This crime currently is only a misdemeanor, and it is being made clear by recent acts of vandalism that it needs to be increased to the felony level."
On Love's Facebook page — which is private — he reportedly issued a statement to clarify his Wednesday remarks:
"That was an exaggerated statement that, you know, a lot of times is used in the western world when somebody does a crime or commits theft," Love wrote, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. "That’s just a western term and I’m very much a western man. … You know, I wear a coat. You know, I dress western. And, you know, I’m the cowboy of the Capitol."
“I guess I could’ve put on there that, you know, they were yellow-bellied, low-life or whatever," he added. "But it is disturbing when you see objects of remembrance — and they can be anything from memorials to tombstones to, you know, somebody putting a cross on the highway and planting flowers on it — that somebody would be a low-life enough to desecrate it or vandalize it."