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 ClintonSaagar Enjeti: Tuesday's Democratic debate already 'rigged' against Gabbard, Sanders Ilhan Omar raises .1 million in third quarter Bloomberg rethinking running for president: report 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 ScaliseFurious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Five ways Trump's Syria decision spells trouble Cheney slated to introduce bill to place sanctions on Turkey MORE (R-La.) tweeted.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 RyanAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate 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 McCarthy10 top Republicans who continue to deny the undeniable Furious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Five ways Trump's Syria decision spells trouble 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 McConnellFury over Trump Syria decision grows Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump to slap sanctions on Turkey for Syria offensive | Trump calls on Turkey to broker ceasefire | Pelosi, Graham seek deal on sanctions | Ex-Trump aide testifies in impeachment probe Trump: Let Assad, Russia or China protect the Kurds 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 ChaoChao met with more officials from Kentucky than any other state: report Ex-senior Trump administration official joins lobbying shop Industry spends big to sell safety of driverless cars 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 KavanaughThe impeachment controversy drags Supreme Court into the politics of the Trump era Supreme Court can prove its independence — or its partisan capture Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Planned Parenthood plans M campaign for 2020 | Dem candidates embrace aggressive step on drug prices | Officials propose changes to encourage 'value-based' care MORE.

Updated at 12:03 p.m.