Dem senator: I’ll ‘beat the hell out of you’ for burning flag

Dem senator: I’ll ‘beat the hell out of you’ for burning flag

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinNo one wins with pro-abortion litmus test Senate confirms Brouillette to replace Perry as Energy secretary Political purity tests are for losers MORE (D-W.Va.) lashed out at flag burning on Tuesday after President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE raised the issue.

“It’s a First Amendment right, but you do it in front of me, I’m going to beat the hell out of you,” Manchin said, according to a Roll Call reporter.

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Manchin is up for reelection during the 2018 cycle in a state that Trump won by more than 40 points. His comment came after Trump floated legal consequences for those who burn the American flag, which the Supreme Court ruled is protected as free speech.

“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or jail,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.

Trump did not say what inspired his tweet. The Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. Johnson in 1989 that the First Amendment allows flag burning. A spokesman for Trump doubled down later Tuesday, arguing that the practice should be outlawed.

“I think most Americans would agree with me that flag burning should be illegal,” Jason Miller told CNN’s “New Day." "It’s completely despicable.”

Some Republicans have pushed back against Trump's position. 

“We have a First Amendment right,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe." "We’ll protect our First Amendment. That’s what the court has upheld.

“I don’t see why anybody would want to burn an American flag,” added McCarthy, who backed Trump’s presidential bid. "It’s the greatest symbol of freedom.

“[America is] a country that was conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. I don’t see why someone would want to burn [its flag].”

Republican Reps. Sean DuffySean DuffyJuan Williams: Trump has nothing left but smears On The Money: Trump seeks to shift spotlight from impeachment to economy | Appropriators agree to Dec. 20 funding deadline | New study says tariffs threaten 1.5M jobs Ex-Rep. Duffy to join lobbying firm BGR MORE (Wis.) and Justin AmashJustin AmashTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan On The Money: Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown | Trump asks Supreme Court to shield financial records from House Democrats | House passes bill to explicitly ban insider trading Amash: Democrats missed opportunity in hearing to 'persuade people' on Trump impeachment MORE (Mich.) also said Tuesday they believe flag burning is protected speech even though they dislike the practice.