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) ManchinManchin on 'Medicare for All': 'We can't even pay for Medicare for some' Overnight Energy: New EPA rule could expand officials weighing in on FOIA requests | Trump plan to strip conservation fund gets bipartisan pushback | Agriculture chief downplays climate concerns Trump plan to strip public land conservation fund gets bipartisan pushback MORE (D-W.Va.) lashed out at flag burning on Tuesday after President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 Patrick DuffyKeep our elections free and fair Fox News contributor Campos-Duffy compares abortion to slavery Carson on HUD eviction plan: 'You take care of your own first' MORE (Wis.) and Justin AmashJustin AmashAmash splits with Republicans, votes to authorize subpoena for Kellyanne Conway The Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate House panel votes to subpoena Kellyanne Conway over Hatch Act testimony MORE (Mich.) also said Tuesday they believe flag burning is protected speech even though they dislike the practice.