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Donald Trump Jr. and Twitter users blame liberal rhetoric in wake of Scalise shooting

That didn't take very long.


Andrew Wyrich


Posted on Jun 14, 2017   Updated on May 23, 2021, 3:09 am CDT

As authorities continue to investigate the motives surrounding the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise and several others on Wednesday morning, some politicians and people online think they’ve found the culprit: liberal rhetoric.

At least one Republican lawmaker suggested that the liberal rhetoric that has popped up since President Donald Trump took office led to the Scalise’s shooting at a baseball field in Virginia early Wednesday, according to the Buffalo News.

“I can only hope that the Democrats do tone down the rhetoric,” the Buffalo News reported Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) saying on a local radio station. “The rhetoric has been outrageous—the finger-pointing, just the tone and the angst and the anger directed at Donald Trump, his supporters. Really, then, you know, some people react to things like that. They get angry as well. And then you fuel the fires.”

Collins, the third-highest ranking member of the House of Representatives, continued: “I can only hope maybe there’s something here that would say: Let’s tone down the rhetoric. We can disagree politically but we can be polite. It’s gone too far.”

While there have been recent incidents of left-leaning figures gaining attention for their over-the-top suggestions of violence against Trump, the president is no stranger to using incendiary rhetoric to fire up his supporters.

Trump drew fierce criticism for praising violence against protesters at rallies during the presidential campaign and some fear his near-daily attacks on the press may cause escalation among his supporters.

Rhetoric was also blamed following the assassination attempt of Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in 2011.

Specifically, many people pointed out that former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin released an online map of different districts they hoped to turn in favor of Tea Party candidates (including Giffords’), which used images of gun sights.

While Twitter was buzzing with debates over gun control in the wake of Scalise’s shooting, others seemed to agree with Collins that rhetoric on the left was to blame.

Leading the charge was the president’s own son.

People accused Trump aide Kellyanne Conway of perpetuating an anti-Republican angle to the shooting when she tweeted “#breakingnews” suggesting someone asked whether Republicans or Democrats were playing baseball on the field prior to the shooting.

Her tweet was quickly denounced by Twitter users:

Meanwhile, off the evidence of social media profiles for shooter James T. Hodgkinson, online communities are identifying him as a radical left winger.

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*First Published: Jun 14, 2017, 10:39 am CDT