Democratic California Rep. John Garamendi appeared to threaten Donald Trump Jr. during a Friday morning interview on MSNBC.
Garamendi told host Hallie Jackson more than once that Trump Jr., who has suggested that some Democrats would prefer a pandemic so that they could blame it on President Donald Trump, should not make such comments in his presence.
“He better not get close to me,” Garamendi said during a portion of the media appearance.
Garamendi began by addressing his main concerns about the potential spread of coronavirus, saying that the CDC had not been prepared early enough to handle the situation. (RELATED: Spokeswoman For Iranian Hostage-Takers Diagnosed With Coronavirus)
“I — you’re very — I think it’s coming through the screen you’re angry, you’re obviously visibly emotional about this,” Jackson responded, noting that there were some reports that the White House was working to control the messaging on the spread of the virus.
“Can you talk through some of that?” she asked.
Garamendi said that Dr. Anthony Fauci had been called off the Sunday talk shows, where he had been expected to speak about the coronavirus.
Garamendi told Jackson:
Well, in so far as I can repeat what he said, ‘I was not muzzled. However, I was to go on the Sunday talk shows, five of them. The vice president’s office then took over the control of this situation. And told me to stand down. Not to do those shows.’ Now, you can draw your own conclusions whether he was muzzled or not but clearly he was scheduled to do Sunday talk shows and he was told not to proceed with that.
Jackson then pressed Garamendi on comments from Trump Jr., saying, “When you look at the discussion around Coronavirus as it exists in the politics sphere, the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. was on this morning and suggested that Democrats are taking a pandemic seemingly hoping and I quote, ‘it comes here to kill millions of people so it can end the president’s streak winning. He called it ‘a new level of sickness.'”
“I want to give you an opportunity to respond to that comment,” she continued.
“He shouldn’t be near me when he says that,” Garamendi said, evidently angered by the comments.
“Why not?” Jackson asked.
“There would be a serious altercation,” Garamendi said. “That’s just totally outrageous. I can assure you there’s not a Democrat or Republican in Congress that wants anybody to be sick.”
Garamendi went on to say that his concern was solely due to what he saw as a failure to respond adequately to the potential threat, adding, “Don Jr. better not get close to me. It would not be a healthy situation.”