The admission comes amid top Democratic leaders encouraging activists to harass Republicans, with one former top official under President Obama telling people recently to kick their political opponents.
Nicole Wallace, the host of MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House,” said on Thursday that she told Bush to attack Trump after a heated debate during the presidential race.
“I told Jeb Bush after that debate that I thought he should have punched [Trump] in the face,” Wallace said. “He insulted your wife.”
MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace says she encouraged Jeb Bush to physically attack Donald Trump: "I told Jeb Bush after that debate that I thought he should have punched [Trump] in the face."
Wallace says Bush would have been "a hero" if he would have violently attacked Trump. pic.twitter.com/VT7aBWJTMq
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 11, 2018
Wallace, who worked for Bush when he was Florida’s governor, claimed Bush asked her what he could have done after Trump derided him, calling him “low-energy” among other things.
“I think you should have punched him in the face and then gotten out of the race. You would have been a hero,” Wallace said.
It’s not the first time Wallace has called for violence against Republican officials. Speaking with a reporter on her show in May, Wallace asked about press secretary Sarah Saunders: “How do you resist the temptation to run up and wring her neck?”
Wallace later took to Twitter to apologize, saying: “When I asked about whether the tension in the briefing room ever makes reporters want to wring the neck of the spokesman, I used poorly chosen words, & for that I’m sorry.”
Is anyone shocked that the left wants people to resort to violence? https://t.co/hqGzCUgrSL
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 11, 2018
Wallace and MSNBC are both fervently anti-Trump and often launch attacks against him and his administration. President Trump’s son decried the comments on Thursday, saying, “Is anyone shocked that the left wants people to resort to violence?”
Wallace’s admission came just days after Eric Holder, the attorney general under Obama, told a crowd that he disagreed with Michelle’s Obama maxim, “When they go low, we go high.”
Another top Democrat leader, former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, recently said that Democrats can not be civil to Republicans unless they gain power back. Currently, Republicans control the presidency, the Senate, and the House.
Top Republicans have condemned the rhetoric.
“As a survivor of a politically motivated attack, it is tragic to think this is an acceptable state of political discourse in our country. I refuse to stand for this and I will continue to call for an end to it,” House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) wrote in an op-ed. Scalise was seriously injured after being shot by Bernie Sanders supporter James T. Hodgkinson last year.