Republican worries 'assassination risk' prompting lawmaker resignations

Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksCoulter slams Trump as 'lazy and incompetent,’ says he could face primary challenger Dems press Pentagon officials to explain why troops are still at border House Republicans call for moving State of the Union to Senate chamber MORE (R-Ala.) floated the idea on Friday that Republicans may be retiring in large numbers from Congress because of the threat of violence and assassinations. 

In an interview on "The Dale Jackson Show," Brooks suggested that residual fears from a shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice in June may be prompting GOP lawmakers to step down. 

"One of the things that’s concerning me is the assassination risk may become a factor," Brooks said, as first reported by Roll Call

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"You have to wonder with that kind of disproportionate retirement number whether what happened in June played a factor," he added.

He pointed to the fact that several members of the Republican baseball team were among those retiring from Congress, including Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakePoll: 33% of Kentucky voters approve of McConnell Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union MORE (Ariz.) and Reps. Tom RooneyThomas (Tom) Joseph RooneyEx-GOP lawmaker joins family firm  The Year Ahead: Tech braces for new scrutiny from Washington GOP struggles to win votes for Trump’s B wall demand MORE (Fla.) and Dennis RossDennis Alan RossEx-GOP lawmaker joins family firm  Ex-GOP lawmaker joins Florida lobbying firm Incoming GOP lawmaker says he may have violated campaign finance law MORE (Fla.). 

Brooks acknowledged that many of his colleagues who have announced their retirements may not cite threats of violence among their reasons for leaving Washington, but said the number of retirements is "out of whack."

"I don't think any of these people who are retiring would say that, but just looking at the numbers,” he said. “That’s out of whack."

The comments came the same day that GOP Rep. Patrick Meehan (Pa.) announced his immediate resignation amid sexual misconduct allegations, promising to pay back a $39,000 payment of taxpayer money that was used to settle a claim against him.

Brooks's comments also came days after the Republican baseball team held their first practice of the year at the same field in Alexandria, Va., where a gunman opened fire on a group of GOP lawmakers in June.

That attack left five people wounded, including House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOn unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 Texas man with politician hit list, illegally 3D printed rifle sentenced to eight years The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? MORE (R-La.), who was injured critically. The gunman was identified as an Illinois man and left-wing activist, who was reportedly angry with President Trump and the Republican majority in Congress.