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Republican worries 'assassination risk' prompting lawmaker resignations

Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - World mourns the death of Prince Philip The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Trump faces test of power with early endorsements 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 FlakeFive reasons why US faces chronic crisis at border Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain Former GOP lawmaker: Republican Party 'engulfed in lies and fear' MORE (Ariz.) and Reps. Tom RooneyThomas (Tom) Joseph RooneyRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC House Dem calls on lawmakers to 'insulate' election process following Mueller report Hill-HarrisX poll: 76 percent oppose Trump pardoning former campaign aides MORE (Fla.) and Dennis RossDennis Alan RossBiden needs to tear down bureaucratic walls and refocus Middle East programs Balancing act: Biden must redefine the US-Saudi relationship Iran begins restricting watchdogs' access to nuclear sites: report 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 ScaliseBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Republican House campaign arm rakes in .7 million in first quarter The Hill's Morning Report - Biden seeks expanded government, tax hikes 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.