- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 14, 2017

MSNBC’s Joy Reid says it is “ridiculous” to claim that ultra-violent art depicting the assassination of President Donald Trump may have influenced the political activist who shot at congressional Republicans Wednesday.

Rep. Steve Scalise and at least four others were hospitalized in Alexandria, Virginia, after a baseball field rampage by 66-year-old gunman James Hodgkinson. Ms. Reid of “AM Joy” told her 652,000 Twitter followers that Mr. Hodgkinson, a former volunteer for Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders’ failed presidential campaign, could not have been swayed by a New York Shakespeare in the Park production depicting Julius Caesar as Mr. Trump.

“People blaming the Virginia shooting on Shakespeare (but not easy gun access) have got to be the most ridiculous people on earth,” she wrote.

Mr. Hodgkinson’s social media accounts were filled with anti-Trump messages, including one that read: “Trump is a traitor. Trump has destroyed our democracy. It’s time to destroy Trump & Co.

Members of a Facebook page he belonged to, “Terminate the Republican Party,” also celebrated the shooting, although the post was quickly deleted by the site moderator.

Mr. Sanders called the actions of his former volunteer, who died after exchanging gunfire with police, “despicable.”

“Let me be as clear as I can be: Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” the senator said. “My hopes and prayers are that Representative Scalise, congressional staff and the Capitol Police Officers who were wounded make a quick and full recovery.”

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