An official in the Nebraska state Democratic party has been removed from his position after an audio recording surfaced of him saying that he wished Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise had been killed last week when he was shot by a Democratic gunman during a congressional baseball practice.
Party chairwoman Jane Kleeb removed Phil Montag as chairman of the technology committee after an audio recording surfaced earlier this week of him saying that he was “glad” that Scalise was shot and that he wished “he was fucking dead.”
Scalise was seriously wounded after being shot by James Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old Illinois political activist who had volunteered for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.
Scalise, the House Majority Whip, was initially listed in critical condition but has steadily improved after numerous surgeries.
Hodgkinson was killed after being shot by Capitol Police. He was found with a list of six Republican congressman in his pocket.
“This motherfucker, his whole job is to get people, convince Republicans to fucking kick people off of fucking health care,” Montag is heard saying in the audio recording, which was published on the website talkrealsolutions.com.
“I’m glad he got shot. I’m not gonna fucking say that publicly. I’m glad he got shot.”
“I wish he was fucking dead,” he added.
Montag made the comments during a conversation with Chelsey Gentry-Tipton, the chairwoman of Nebraska’s Democratic Black Caucus, and a man named Destin Madison.
Montag told the Omaha World-Herald that Gentry-Tipton and Madison recorded his conversation in order to force him to publicly support Gentry-Tipton in a controversy over her own remarks about Scalise.
“Watching the congressman crying on live tv abt the trauma they experienced. Y is this so funny tho?” Gentry-Tipton wrote on social media after Scalise was shot.
Kleeb, the party’s chairwoman, last week called on Gentry-Tipton to resign over the comments.
In the conversation with Montag, Madison is heard asking the party official to make his thoughts about Scalise public. When Montag said he could not, Madison said he had been recording the conversation and would be publishing the audio file.
Kleeb told the World-Herald on Thursday that she had removed Montag from his position.
“Wishing a Member of Congress or any individual dead is disgusting and has no place in our party,” she told the newspaper.
Montag also issued a statement claiming that he did not wish death upon Scalise.
“Like every decent American I am saddened and horrified by the shooting of Congressman Scalise,” he told the newspaper. “I do not and did not wish for his death. I am hopeful that the entirety of the original, unedited recording will emerge so we can get to the truth of the matter.”