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 ClintonSanders campaign reports raising M in less than a day The Memo: Bernie Sanders’s WH launch sharpens ‘socialist’ question Roger Stone invokes gag order in new fundraiser 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 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.) 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 RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump Unscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden 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 McCarthySteve King asks for Congressional Record correction over white supremacist quote Steve King urges supporters to pray for his committee assignments to be restored: report Congress allows Violence Against Women Act to lapse 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 McConnellDems think they're beating Trump in emergency declaration battle Sanders: 'Not crazy' about nixing the Senate filibuster McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump 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 ChaoTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ Taiwan’s President Tsai should be invited to address Congress White House announces reduced delegation to travel to Davos amid shutdown 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 KavanaughBudowsky: Roberts Court faces its own state of emergency The 10 Dems most likely to win the 2020 presidential nomination Five things to watch as Barr takes the reins of Justice, Mueller probe MORE.

Updated at 12:03 p.m.