Republican Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks is facing bipartisan criticism after claiming to “understand citizenry anger” after a suspect threatened to bomb the U.S. Capitol and Library of Congress.
Congressional offices, the Library of Congress, and the Supreme Court were evacuated Thursday after a suspect, who police identified as North Carolina native Floyd Ray Roseberry, threatened to detonate explosives. Roseberry cited a coin shortage, the U.S.’ chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, and a threat to “cut off healthcare” as justification for his threat.
In response to the threat, Brooks tweeted a statement that he was “aware of the Capitol bomb threat.”
“I’m monitoring the situation. I am in Alabama,” he continued. “My Washington staff is accounted for and safe. I pray for the safety of Capitol Police and first responders on the scene in Washington. Sadly, violence and threats of violence targeting America’s political institutions are far too common. Although this terrorist’s motivation is not yet publicly known, and generally speaking, I understand citizenry anger directed at dictatorial Socialism and its threat to liberty, freedom, and the very fabric of American society. The way to stop Socialism’s march is for patriotic Americans to fight back in the 2022 and 2024 elections. I strongly encourage patriotic Americans to do exactly that more so than ever before. Bluntly stated, America’s future is at risk.”
My statement on the Capitol bomb threat: pic.twitter.com/yCuTNTbJyP
— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) August 19, 2021
Democrats and Republicans ripped his statement for appearing to justify the bomb threat.
“It is astonishing that this needs to be said but no one who serves in Congress should be expressing public sympathy with the views of a terrorist who threatened to blow up the U.S. Capitol. I would have thought we could all at least agree on that,” Democratic Virginia Rep. Don Beyer tweeted.
It is astonishing that this needs to be said but no one who serves in Congress should be expressing public sympathy with the views of a terrorist who threatened to blow up the U.S. Capitol. I would have thought we could all at least agree on that.
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) August 19, 2021
“Car bombs don’t discriminate between Democrats and Republicans. Any type of encouragement puts us all in danger,” Democratic Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego responded.
Mo, let me tell you from experience. Car bombs don’t discriminate between Democrats and Republicans. Any type of encouragement puts us all in danger. https://t.co/tas0RqELVK
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) August 19, 2021
“Evil,” Republican Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger added.
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) August 19, 2021
Brooks is currently a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell alleging that he was responsible for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. (RELATED: Rep. Swalwell’s Attorneys Claim They Can’t Corner Rep. Brooks To Serve Him Lawsuit)
Brooks appeared on-stage with Trump in a rally at the Ellipse shortly before rioters entered the Capitol.
“Let’s be clear, regardless of today’s outcome, the 2022 and 2024 elections are right around the corner, and America does not need and cannot stand, cannot tolerate any more weakling, cowering, wimpy Republican congressmen and senators who covet the power and the prestige the swamp has to offer, while groveling at the feet and the knees of the special interest group masters. As such, today is important in another way, today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,” he said at the rally, according to AL.com.
Brooks had argued that the U.S. government should be sued for the speech, since he gave it in his official capacity as a member of Congress. The Department of Justice rejected that argument, saying that he participated in the rally as part of an electoral campaign, so he will be sued as an individual.