On Thursday, a man named Floyd Ray Roseberry — who’s apparently a supporter of Donald Trump and a committed opponent of Democrats — pulled onto a sidewalk in Washington, D.C., and claimed he had a bomb. While such a threat to the capital could be expected to spark unequivocal condemnation from public figures across the board, that’s not what happened on Thursday. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), who is known for supporting the lie that last year’s presidential election was somehow rigged for Biden and who spoke at the rally shortly before January’s Capitol riot, issued a statement saying in part that he was able to “understand” frustrations with supposed proponents of “socialism” (meaning Democrats, who don’t actually promote socialism like Brooks would have folks believe).
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) promptly went after Brooks for his incendiary remarks. The phrase “I understand” ought never, in any context, to appear in a statement from an elected official in reference to a wannabe domestic terrorist — but, in part, that’s what Brooks said. Kinzinger commented on Twitter as follows:
‘The GOP has a decision to make. Are we going to be the party that keeps stoking sympathy for domestic terrorists and pushes out truth, or finally take a stand for truth. I’ve made my decision, so has Mo. Now it’s up to GOP conference leadership to make theirs.’
The GOP has a decision to make. Are we going to be the party that keeps stoking sympathy for domestic terrorists and pushes out truth, or finally take a stand for truth. I’ve made my decision, so has Mo. Now it’s up to GOP conference leadership to make theirs. https://t.co/RwbvKVWSE7
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) August 19, 2021
In his statement, although he acknowledged the individual who claimed to have the bomb as a “terrorist,” Brooks also said that he “understand[s] citizenry anger directed at dictatorial Socialism and its threat to liberty, freedom and the very fabric of American society,” and he concluded his statement by insisting, in apparent reference to the same supposed specter of socialism, that “America’s future is at risk.” His comments hearken back to the attempt at a justification for the deadly violence of January 6 that Trump posted to Twitter on the day of the riot. At the time, Trump insisted that “these are the things and events that happen” when an election is stolen — although no such theft of an election actually took place, of course. While Trump is no longer in office, Brooks is — and he’s offering what amount to excuses (however tepid) for a bomb threat in the U.S. capital.