The Nebraska Democratic Party ousted an official Thursday after a recording surfaced of him saying he wished House Majority Whip Steve Scalise had died in the Alexandria, Virginia, shooting that left him critically wounded.
Phil Montag, a volunteer co-chairman of the party’s technology committee, unloaded a series of expletives in describing his disdain for Rep. Scalise, who is still recovering from an attempted assassination of Republican members of Congress at a June 14 baseball practice.
“This motherf——r, his whole job is to get people, convince Republicans to f—-ing kick people off f—ing health care. I hate this motherf——r,” Mr. Montag said in the audio recording.
“I’m glad he got shot,” he added. “I wish he was f—-ing dead.”
Mr. Montag made the comments during a private meeting with the party’s Black Caucus chairwoman, Chelsey Gentry-Tipton, who is also under fire for making light of the shooting.
In Wednesday’s recording, a friend of Ms. Gentry-Tipton, Destin Madison, informed Mr. Montag that he had been recording the conversation and planned to go public with it.
Mr. Montag later told the Omaha World-Herald that the recording had been edited to take his words out of context.
“Like every decent American I am saddened and horrified by the shooting of Congressman Scalise,” he said. “I do not and did not wish for his death. I am hopeful that the entirety of the original, unedited recording will emerge so we can get to the truth of the matter.”
Party chairwoman Jane Kleeb said she fired Mr. Montag as soon as she heard the recording on Thursday.
“Wishing a Member of Congress or any individual dead is disgusting and has no place in our party,” she told the World-Herald.
As for Ms. Gentry-Tipton, she has refused to apologize or resign, also saying her words were taken out of context. Ms. Kleeb could fire Mr. Montag because he was appointed, but she can’t fire Ms. Gentry-Tipton, who holds an elected position, the World-Herald reported. Both are volunteers.
Ms. Gentry-Tipton wrote on Facebook the day of the shooting that she found the “trauma” experienced by the victims “funny.”
“Hard to be empathetic towards those that have no empathy for us,” she wrote at the time. “The very people that push pro NRA legislation in efforts to pad their pockets with complete disregard for human life. Yeah, having a hard time feeling bad for them.”
Warning: Video contains profanity: