Former Tea Party congressman from Illinois Joe Walsh is coming under fierce criticism for now-deleted comments he made on Twitter after the Dallas attack.
“3 Dallas Cops killed, 7 wounded. This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you,” tweeted Walsh, who is now a conservative radio talk show host.
Walsh later explained his now-deleted comments in a Twitter post.
“I wasn’t calling for violence, against Obama or anyone. Obama’s words & BLM’s deeds have gotten cops killed. Time for us to defend our cops,” he tweeted.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Walsh explained himself further.
“Of course I didn’t mean ‘let’s go kill Obama and Black Lives Matter.’ I was not trying to incite violence against Obama and Black Lives Matter. That’s crazy and stupid and wrong,” the former congressman said, adding, “It would end my career and it’s wrong. I would never say anything as reprehensible as that.”
Walsh also claimed in the Trib interview that Twitter deleted his initial tweet and temporarily suspended his account.
“They said the tweet might look like it might incite violence,” Walsh said, adding that the “pre-condition for me reopening my account was they had to delete that tweet.”
Many people, meanwhile, are condemning Walsh’s initial comments, including SEIU* Healthcare Illinois Executive Vice President Greg Kelley.
“While the rest of the nation mourns, former Illinois Republican Congressman Joe Walsh divides, threatening President Obama in hateful speech that must be condemned,” Kelley said in a statement. “Walsh has a history of outright racism and his abhorrent comments were made in this context. But with America grieving the loss of the heroic Dallas police officers, as well as grappling with the senseless deaths of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana, his intolerance serves to pull us further apart instead of bringing us closer together.”
*The SEIU Illinois Council sponsors this website.