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 ClintonHillicon Valley: Wells Fargo tells employees to delete TikTok from work phones | Google, Facebook join legal challenge to ICE foreign students rule | House Republican introduces bills to bolster federal cybersecurity Biden lets Trump be Trump 4 Texas GOP congressional primary runoffs to watch 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 Scalise4 Texas GOP congressional primary runoffs to watch Cheney clashes with Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks 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 RyanBush, Romney won't support Trump reelection: NYT Twitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here's why Lobbying world 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 McCarthy4 Texas GOP congressional primary runoffs to watch Congress under pressure to provide billions for school openings Supreme Court rulings reignite Trump oversight wars in Congress 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 McConnellMcConnell in talks with Mnuchin on next phase of coronavirus relief Pelosi: 'We shouldn't even be thinking' about reopening schools without federal aid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - All eyes on Florida as daily COVID-19 cases hit 15K 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 Chao40 Trump-connected lobbyists secured over B in coronavirus relief for clients: report Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed plane Sanders calls for social distancing, masks and disinfection on planes as flights operate at full capacity 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 KavanaughRoberts court tempers conservative expectations OVERNIGHT ENERGY: WH pushed for 'correction' to Weather Service tweet contradicting Trump in 'Sharpiegate' incident, watchdog says | Supreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Native American tribe Five takeaways from Supreme Court's rulings on Trump tax returns MORE.

Updated at 12:03 p.m.