Nebraska Democratic Party official Phil Montag lost his position on June 22 after being caught on tape saying he was “glad” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot.
“This [expletive], his whole job is to get people, convince Republicans to [expletive] kick people off of [expletive] health care. I hate this [expletive]. I’m [expletive] glad he got shot. I’m glad he got shot. I’m not gonna [expletive] say that publicly. … I wish he was [expletive] dead,” Montag is heard saying on a recording that was posted on talkrealsolutions.com, a black news and advocacy site.
The World-Herald sent a link to the recording to Montag’s boss, Nebraska Democratic Chairwoman Jane Kleeb, who immediately fired him from his position of co-chair of the party’s Technology Committee, the paper reported.
Scalise was seriously injured by a shooter who targeted Republicans during a congressional baseball practice on June 14. His condition has since been upgraded to fair.
Montag told The World-Herald his words were taken out of context.
“Like every decent American I am saddened and horrified by the shooting of Congressman Scalise,” he said in an email. “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.”
He said he made the remarks during a conversation with Nebraska Democratic Party Black Caucus Chair Chelsey Gentry-Tipton and her friend Destin Madison.
The talk lasted 30-60 minutes of which only about 50 seconds were posted online. Madison is heard in the recording saying he intended to publish it.
Gentry-Tipton faced criticism herself and has been asked to resign by Kleeb because of her comments about Scalise on Facebook.
“Watching the congressman crying on live tv abt the trauma they experienced. Y is this so funny tho?” she wrote in a discussion thread about the shooting.
“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,” she wrote in another comment.
Gentry-Tipton refused to resign, saying her comments were taken out of context. Because her position is elected, Kleeb couldn’t fire her.
Montag said he went to see Gentry-Tipton and was pressured by her and Madison to make a public statement in her support.