- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 30, 2018

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise literally had no words to describe his reaction to commentary on political violence by CNN’s Don Lemon.

The Louisiana Republican, the party’s third-ranking House member, simply shared an image of shocked eyeballs on Tuesday after hearing Mr. Lemon’s claim that Democrats aren’t “killing people because of political [motivations].”

“This is not equal,” Mr. Lemon said Monday about political violence in the U.S. “The right-wing group killed a woman in Charlottesville. This guy [Pittsburgh shooting suspect Robert Bowers] is a right-winger who killed the people in the synagogue. The right-winger [Cesar Sayoc] sent bombs to CNN and to Democrats. I don’t see Democrats killing people because of political — yeah, maybe Democratic operatives who are out there.”

Mr. Scalise was shot on a Alexandria, Virginia, softball field in June 2017 when gunman James Hodgkinson opened fire on Republicans. His leadership status in Congress requires security, which likely saved the lives of many lawmakers during the attack.

The shooter was a left-wing activist with an online history of animosity toward President Trump and Republicans. He yelled “this is for health care” during the shooting, according to one of the victims. 

Mr. Scalise nearly died of the gunshot wound to his hip and subsequent complications after surgery.

Mr. Lemon has also defended the violent left-wing group Antifa — both by downplaying its culpability for chaos during the 2017 Charlottesville protests and by stating it was on a different moral level than other protesters.

“Listen, no organization’s perfect,” he said Aug. 28. “There was some violence. No one condones violence, but there were different reasons for Antifa and for these neo-Nazis to be there. One, racists, fascists, the other group, fighting racist fascists. There is a distinction there.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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