Several Democratic lawmakers say they have received threats following the shooting at a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday.
Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot by 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson during an early-morning practice for a congressional baseball game. Along with Scalise, four other people were injured in the shooting. Hodgkinson was a fierce Bernie Sanders supporter and called President Donald Trump a “traitor,” but his exact motive for the shooting has not been established.
As Democratic members of Congress were getting briefed on the developing situation, some have gotten calls saying “you guys are next,” Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan of California told Buzzfeed News.
Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan tells me that multiple Democratic members of the House have gotten calls saying “you guys are next.”
— Ema O’Connor (@o_ema) June 14, 2017
Barragan said that several Democratic lawmakers also got calls on their personal cell phones, including one to a lawmaker who was not a member of their party’s baseball team. While Barragan was not one of the members to receive such a call, she said that others she would not name got calls saying “you Democrats, you Democrats.”
Buzzfeed reporter Adrian Carrasquillo tweeted that another Democratic congressman also told him that he saw alt-right groups posting comments saying the Democrats were next online.
Just spoke with a Democratic congressman who was concerned over something he saw on social media of a right wing group saying Dems are next.
— Adrian Carrasquillo (@Carrasquillo) June 14, 2017
But it’s not just Democrats. Rep. Claudia Tenney, a New York Republican, also got a threatening email saying, “One down, 216 to go,” Spectrum News reporter Nick Reisman tweeted.
Rep. Claudia Tenney’s office says she has received a threatening email sent after shooting. Subject line “One down, 216 to go…”
— Nick Reisman (@NickReisman) June 14, 2017
According to Buzzfeed, several Democratic leaders confirmed that there have been more threats coming their way from both before and after the shooting and that they were now pressing for increased security for the members.
“We are public officials, part of our shtick is to draw attention to ourselves so we will always be mindful of [the danger of that],” Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley told Buzzfeed News. “But I am more concerned about the safety of my staff.”