President Donald Trump is "partially to blame" for the nation's "demons" being unleashed, culminating in the shooting in Virginia Wednesday, according to one Republican congressman.
"I think we have to watch out as a society because, if we don't watch out, civility is indeed a part of civilized government and an open political system," Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Thursday. "If you let these forces play out, I think we end up at a very, very bad spot. I think what happened yesterday was symptomatic of it."
James T. Hodgkinson has been identified as the shooter who attacked the practice for the Republican congressional baseball team in Alexandria, wounding three. His motive for the attack is currently unknown, according to NBC News, although he reportedly asked if those practicing were Republicans or Democrats before the attack, and his online activity suggests strong anti-Republican feelings.
"I Hate Republicans & everything they stand for," he wrote on Facebook in December 2015, according to NBC.
Hodgkinson also volunteered for the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., though a Sanders staffer said he did not have a significant role.
On Thursday, Sanford said he'd "argue that the president is at least in partially — not totally — but partially to blame for demons that have been unleashed. The fact that you have the top guy saying, 'I wish I can hit you in the face. Why don't you and I'll pay your legal fees.' That's bizarre. We ought to call it as such. What I've said back home, some of these people have been frankly weird and different in a town hall meeting. I say what is going on. They'll say, 'look, if the guy at the top can say anything to anybody at any time, why can't I?'
"I think we all need to look for ways to learn from what happened yesterday and to say, 'wait a minute, this is a pause moment. What might I do a little differently in the way I reached out to other members.'"
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