GOP leaders: 'Acts of pure terror' have no place in politics

GOP leaders: 'Acts of pure terror' have no place in politics
© Greg Nash

Congressional GOP leaders on Wednesday condemned those who mailed suspicious packages to the homes of President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCohen once teased Hillary Clinton about going to prison. Now he's been sentenced to 36 months The Hill's 12:30 Report — Cohen gets three years in prison | Fallout from Oval Office clash | House GOP eyes vote on B for wall Contest offers 'Broadway play and chardonnay' with Clinton MORE as well as CNN’s offices in New York City, warning that "acts of pure terror” have no place in American politics or society.

“These attempted attacks that have been made are beyond criminal, they are acts of pure terror. Violence and terror have no place in our politics or anywhere else in our society,” House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOn The Money: House GOP struggles to get votes for B in wall funds | Fallout from Oval Office clash | Dems say shutdown would affect 800K workers | House passes 7 billion farm bill GOP struggles to win votes for Trump’s B wall demand Dem knocks GOP colleagues: Blame 'yourself' for unfavorable Google search results MORE (R-La.) tweeted.

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"I have experienced first-hand the effects of political violence, and am committed to using my voice to speak out against it wherever I can,” he added.

For Scalise, who nearly was killed last year after being shot in the hip at a Congressional Baseball Game practice, political violence is personal. He has been critical of activists harassing GOP officials in restaurants, airports and other public places and was quick to denounce the bomb threats on Wednesday.

The Louisiana Republican said those responsible for the packages should be punished, adding that the behavior shouldn’t be normalized.

“Those responsible for these evil acts of terror must be hunted down and brought to justice, and I have great confidence that our law enforcement officers will succeed in that mission,” Scalise continued. “As a nation, we must agree that this is a dangerous path and it cannot become the new normal.”

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanOn The Money: House GOP struggles to get votes for B in wall funds | Fallout from Oval Office clash | Dems say shutdown would affect 800K workers | House passes 7 billion farm bill GOP struggles to win votes for Trump’s B wall demand House GOP blocks lawmakers from forcing Yemen war votes for rest of year MORE (R-Wis.) also took to Twitter to denounce the people who mailed the packages.

“Those behind such reprehensible acts must be brought to justice. We cannot tolerate any attempt to terrorize public figures,” Ryan said. “I am grateful to the @SecretService, Capitol Police, and all law enforcement who guard against these threats.”

Ryan is aware of the situation and monitoring it closely, said his spokeswoman, AshLee Strong.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyGOP congresswoman says she opted out of NRCC run because McCarthy had 'a different plan' GOP struggles to win votes for Trump’s B wall demand GOP floats short-term CR with B for border wall MORE (R-Calif.), meanwhile, expressed confidence that law enforcement officials will find those responsible and hold them accountable.

"Our country stands united in the face of attempted terrorism targeting President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and CNN," he tweeted. "Rest assured law enforcement will hunt down the criminals who did this and bring them to justice."

And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP-controlled Senate breaks with Trump on Saudi vote Overnight Defense: Senate moves toward vote on bill ending support for Saudi war | House GOP blocks Yemen war votes for rest of year | Trump throws uncertainty into Pentagon budget | Key Dem to leave transgender troop ban to courts Senate moves toward vote on ending support for Saudi-led war MORE (R-Ky.) said in a statement that he stands "with all Americans" in condemning the "attempted acts of domestic terrorism." 

"As we continue to learn more, Americans are united in gratitude for the first responders — the Secret Service, the Postal Service, and other law enforcement — who protect our leaders and public figures from such unconscionable acts,” he said.

McConnell and his wife, Treasury Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoGeorge H.W. Bush remembered at Kennedy Center Honors Trump, first lady attend special Supreme Court ceremony for Kavanaugh 5 ways Democrats can turn the House win into future success MORE, were confronted over the weekend at a restaurant in Louisville, Ky., by a man who yelled at the couple and berated them over their politics.

In an op-ed on Tuesday, the Kentucky Republican called the incident an example of the "antics of far-left protesters" and "extremist left-wing tantrums" and said he would not be intimidated.

McConnell was also confronted at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport earlier this month by protesters opposed to the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughPlanned Parenthood provides health care for millions of women in the US — we can't defund them Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic gets DC red carpet premiere Supreme Court not for life? Beware perils to its independence MORE.

Updated at 12:03 p.m.