House Democrat denies he threatened Trump Jr. with ‘physical violence’ after demand for apology

Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) said Friday he made “no threat of physical violence” against Donald Trump Jr. after Trump Jr.’s spokesman demanded the lawmaker apologize for “threatening” him.

“By threatening Don Jr. with physical violence on national TV, Congressman Garamendi made clear to everyone watching that he is better suited to represent Antifa than the people of California’s 3rd Congressional district,” Andy Surabian, spokesman for Trump Jr., said in a statement. “He should apologize immediately.”

Garamendi had earlier in the day suggested there would be an “altercation” between him and the president’s son, but later clarified it would be a “verbal altercation.”

Trump Jr. on Friday morning told Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” that Democrats are “seemingly hoping” the coronavirus comes to the U.S. “and kills millions of people so that they can end Donald Trump’s streak of winning.”

“He should not be near me when he says that,” Garamendi said, responding to the comment later Friday morning on MSNBC.

“Why not?” host Hallie Jackson asked.

“There would be a serious altercation,” Garamendi said. “That is just totally outrageous.”

“I can assure you that there’s not a Democrat or Republican in Congress that wants anybody to be sick. What we are concerned about is the administration’s response to this illness,” continued Garamendi, who represents a district with one known case of coronavirus. 

Trump Jr.’s spokesman called Garamendi’s comments “outrageous” and “beyond the pale,” also condemning Jackson for her “silence about political violence aimed towards a member of the first family.”

Garamendi in response denied that he made a “threat of physical violence,” telling The Hill in a statement that Trump Jr. is welcome to “come to my office to explain his comments.”

However, he maintained that Trump Jr. “can expect a strong verbal altercation.”

Garamendi and multiple other Democrats expressed frustration with the Trump administration’s response to the spread of coronavirus on Friday after a closed-door briefing by top health officials.

President Trump earlier in the day tweeted that the U.S. is “way ahead” in its response to the virus thanks to him closing the border and ending flights “very early.”

There are currently 15 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Donald Trump Jr. John Garamendi John Garamendi

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