During an appearance on Fox News Sunday over the weekend, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) angrily complained about the impending second Senate impeachment trial proceedings against ex-President Donald Trump. These proceedings will get underway after the House impeached Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection over his long campaign to push the delusional lie that the presidential election was stolen for Joe Biden, which rioters at the Capitol on January 6 used as a pretext. Paul insisted that, while he does not condone Trump’s language, there’s some kind of equivalency between Trump’s behavior and that of Democrats.
On Fox, Paul complained as follows:
‘I don’t condone any of the language, and like I said, I opposed philosophically and voted against overturning the election. However, I think you’re gonna see the Trump defense play video of Maxine Waters telling crowds to mob Trump administration [officials] in restaurants and attack them. They’ll probably show clips of Cory Booker saying get up in the face of these congress people. You’ll probably see comments from Representative Omar wishing and celebrating the violence that happened to me when I had six ribs broken and part of my lung removed. I think you’re going to see all of this and people are going to have to judge for themselves.’
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) never called on people to “attack” Trump administration officials. In reality, at one point, she admonished observers to “get out and… create a crowd” and “push back” against Trump administration officials in public settings in order to protest the Trump administration’s separation of immigrant families. For starters, “push back” is not a phrase that people generally use for physical action, and characterizing Waters’s comments as a call for so-called attacks on Trump administration officials is just ridiculous. In a follow-up interview, Waters said that people were “going to protest” and “harass” Trump officials — but again, describing these remarks as calls for physical violence is just ridiculous.
As for Booker, characterizing his remarks as a call for violence is also ridiculous. In 2018, he said that activists involved in caring for the homeless should “get up in the face of some congresspeople and tell them about common sense solutions.” In an edited version of his remarks that made rounds through the conservative media ecosystem, right-wingers cut off the remarks right in the middle of the thought, presenting the sentiment as a call for people to “get up in the face of some congresspeople” — and that’s it. Elsewhere, Booker has made it abundantly clear that he is unequivocally opposed to violence. At one point, he said that folks should “confront evil and injustice, but do it in the ways that Martin Luther King did it… who always did it by recognizing the dignity of even those who you oppose.”
Meanwhile, claiming that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) “celebrated” violence against Paul, who was attacked by a neighbor in 2017, is false, although she did retweet a post sarcastically referencing the incident. After Paul, in a galling display of racist self-importance, proposed personally playing for a plane ticket with which Omar could visit her conflict-stricken home country of Somalia in order to “appreciate America more,” the Congresswoman retweeted a post in which comedian Tom Arnold said that it’s “no wonder” that Paul’s neighbor “ripped his toupee off.”
Meanwhile, while on Fox, Paul added as follows:
‘Are we going to impeach and potentially criminally prosecute people for political speech when they say get up and fight for your country, let your voices be heard? Has nobody in this country heard of figurative speech?’
There’s a difference between “figurative speech” and Trump’s claim that a nationwide cabal of election-riggers were responsible for Biden’s electoral victory and that his supporters should “fight like hell” in order to “stop the steal.”
Check out his comments below: