- REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A volunteer co-chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party’s technology committee was fired after he made a derogatory reference to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was wounded in a shooting at a congressional baseball practice last week.
Phil Montag made the comments during a conversation that was being recorded, The Washington Post reported on Friday.
“I’m glad he got shot,” Montag allegedly said, according to The Post. “I wish he was f—ing dead.”
In the recording, Montag went on to describe Scalise’s job as one in which he was to “convince Republicans to … kick people off f—ing healthcare.”
The conversation appeared to be an argument between Montag and at least two other people, one of whom revealed he was disturbed by Montag’s comments.
“Why are you telling us, but not telling anyone else,” one person said to Montag. “I’ve been recording this conversation since you’ve come in, so I will publicly release it myself.”
After the recording surfaced, Montag said that his comments were part of a longer exchange that lasted 30 minutes to an hour and were taken out of context, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
“Like every decent American I am saddened and horrified by the shooting of Congressman Scalise,” Montag wrote in an email to the publication. “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.”
After the recording was released, Nebraska Democratic Chairwoman Jane Kleeb announced Montag would be removed from his post and made a report to the police out of concern Montag’s comments amounted to a possible death threat, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
“As soon as I heard it, I sent it to the [party] officers and then sent an email to Phil Montag informing him I am removing him from his appointed position as Co-Chair of the Technology Committee,” Kleeb wrote in an email Thursday.” “Wishing a Member of Congress or any individual dead is disgusting and has no place in our party.”
Scalise was shot in the hip by a gunman during a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, on June 14. Four others were wounded during the incident. The gunman, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, was killed by the police.
Scalise remained hospitalized on Friday.