Democrats have been trying to undermine President Trump since before he was elected, including by charging he’s a pawn of Russian President Vladimir Putin who colluded with Moscow to win the 2016 election.
The president has responded in kind, notably in tweets Sunday accusing four freshman House members of anti-American rhetoric and policies, and suggesting they “go back” and fix their broken countries of origin before attempting to transform America.
Trump reinforced his message at a rally Wednesday night in North Carolina in which some members of the crowd chanted “send her back” in reference to one of the four members of the “squad,” U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.
Trump denounced the chant, but fellow squad member U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told reporters Thursday that Trump is creating “a volatile environment” that threatens the safety of lawmakers.
“I think the president put millions of Americans in danger last night. His rhetoric is endangering lots of people,” she said.
“Of course. I think part of the point is to target us. The president is evolving, as predicted, deeper into … the rhetoric of racism which evolves into violence,” she claimed.
The Hill reported Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, is proposing more security for himself and others.
The congressional leaders of both parties have security details, but individual members do not.
“These are dangerous times,” Green said. “Every member of this House needs additional security. Leadership has adequate security. Members do not have adequate security. I want to thwart the efforts of those who might want to harm a member of this House.”
Omar said she was not concerned about her own safety.
However, House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., already has written to House security officials asking for higher security standards for some members, The Hill said.
He said he will send another letter “just to highlight the ongoing threat, that what the president is saying is not helping the safety of members.”
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the House minority leader, said the message from Trump wasn’t objectionable at all, saying only “if you don’t love America, you can leave.”
The most recent violence against members of Congress targeted Republicans. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was shot in 2017 when a man opened fire on a House GOP team preparing for the annual congressional baseball game.
The attacker had published several postings on social media documenting his hatred for Republicans.
Many threats are not publicized, but a recent one was made in a public session.
Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., said during a Q&A session with constituents on Long Island that citizens may have to take up arms against the president if he “doesn’t follow the law.”
“I mean, this is where the Second Amendment comes in quite frankly, because you know, what if the president was to ignore the courts? What would you do? What would we do?” he charged.