Former Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes sent a chilling tweet Thursday in which he appeared to fantasize about reading the newspaper obituaries of Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Rhodes’ comment came in response to a tweet by Dan Pfeiffer, former senior adviser to Obama. Pfeiffer tweeted a photo of McConnell, Ryan, President Trump and Pence giving “thumbs-up” after passage of the GOP tax reform legislation Wednesday. Pfeiffer wrote: “I hope this is the photo they use on the front page of the Times on the day Trump is indicted.”
That’s when Rhodes caught widespread attention on Twitter with his ominous reply: “And alongside the obits for Ryan, McConnell, and Pence.”
Rhodes’ “obit” message was retweeted more than 1,000 times and received more than 4,300 “likes.”
But a Republican congressman who survived a horrific mass shooting quickly shut Rhodes down Thursday.
House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La. – who was shot and severely wounded along with two Capitol Police officers and two GOP staffers at a softball practice in June – tweeted to Rhodes, “You may want to reconsider your rhetoric.”
Scalise’s response was retweeted 8,500 times and received 21,000 “likes.”
And former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, who protected President Obama and other presidents, called Rhodes a “violent psychopath who puts every Secret Service agent and federal protection officer in danger with his violent rhetoric.”
“This man is a disgrace to the country, his family, his friends, and anyone else claiming his sorry soul,” Bongino continued in a Thursday tweet. “An embarrassment in every respect.”
Despite the polite nature of Scalise’s suggestion, the congressman drew the ire of angry leftists who tweeted the following responses:
- “Little snowflake Steve.” – Meg Y.
- “If getting shot didn’t educate you on the merits of sensible gun control, you’re beyond help and need to be replaced in November.” – John Fitzpatrick
- “Reassuring to see that your recent brush with death has heightened your sensitivity towards the mention that public figures have obituaries written when they pass. Darn shame you’re not as sensitive about our country’s need for sensible gun restrictions.” – Laurie Brunner
- “You may want to reconsider where your loyalty lies. Getting shot doesn’t mean you’re a good person.” – AT
- “I am extremely disappointed you didn’t develop sepsis and embark on an impromptu visit to the fires of the abyss.” – Colin Taylor
- “That’s rich, coming from a member of a party that has done nothing but lie to the last year (to give a kind timeline). I’d think getting your life saved by a person you are persecuting might have caused *you* to reconsider your rhetoric, but we all know that didn’t happen.” – Eliza Pontificates
- “Hi, Steve. I wish the bullet had been fatal. Oh well. Happy Holidays!” – Punished @DroidCommission
Even New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait sarcastically responded: “GOP. Whip offended by implication fellow Republican leaders are not immortal.”
As WND reported, Twitter rolled out new guidelines Monday for “hate speech,” but it’s unclear whether Rhodes’ tweet actually crosses that line for the social media platform.
According to the new rules on “abuse and hateful conduct,” users may not “promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
We’ve updated our rules around abuse and hateful conduct as well as violence and physical harm. These changes will be enforced starting December 18. Read our updated rules here: https://t.co/NGVT3qGFvg
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) November 17, 2017
What counts as “hateful” is up for debate, and the groups Twitter is relying on to make that determination have a strong left-wing bias.