Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) suggested during a radio interview that Republican lawmakers are retiring en masse because they fear being assassinated.
Brooks was referencing Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), who was shot and severely injured last year. A man angry about President Donald Trump opened fire on Republican members of Congress at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.
Have they increased security?
“We have multiple rings of security, plainclothes, uniform, Capitol Police, other police,” Brooks said. “There was a medical vehicle nearby just in case there was a copycat.”
Although many factors have led to Republicans leaving the House, fears of violence are also playing a role.
“One of the things that’s concerning me is the assassination risk may become a factor,” Brooks said.
What other examples did he give?
He mentioned that some of the retiring members of the Republican baseball team include Sen. Jeff Flake and Reps. Ryan Costello, Pat Meehan, Dennis Ross and Tom Rooney, Roll Call reported.
“You have to wonder with that kind of disproportionate retirement number whether what happened in June played a factor,” he said.
Brooks noted that in the past month, a man pled guilty to threatening Arizona Rep. Martha McSally. Additionally, three people were arrested for threatening Reps. Scott Taylor and Tom Garrett of Virginia and Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey.
“Notice a trend here?” Brooks said. “I have a congressman who is a friend here who has a three-year old daughter whose daughter was threatened with murder.”
Brooks said he believes the “socialist Bernie Sanders wing of society” is pushing for a revolution that would incite a “Maoist level of violence."
“There are a growing number of leftists who believe the way to resolve this is not at the ballot box but through threats and sometimes through violence and assassinations,” Brooks said.
He added that it is simply his observation.
“I don't think any of these people who are retiring would say that, but just looking at the numbers,” Brooks said. “That’s out of whack.”