House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) denounced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) after she referred to President Donald Trump and his “allies” as “domestic enemies” of the United States during an interview Monday.
During a Monday appearance on “MSNBC Live,” Pelosi launched an attack against the president and GOP lawmakers over their opposition to universal mail-in voting.
“We take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, and sadly, the domestic enemies to our voting system and our honor and our Constitution are right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with their allies in the Congress of the United States,” Pelosi told anchor Ayman Mohyeldin.
Pelosi continued to urge Democrats to “mobilize,” “organize,” and not allow the president to “deter anybody from voting.”
“They’re doing everything they can [to] suppress the vote with their actions, scare people, intimidate by saying law enforcement will be there, diminish the role of the postal system in all of this.”
“It’s really actually shameful,” the speaker said. “Enemies of the state.”
🚨 Disgusting: Nancy Pelosi just called Republicans “domestic enemies.”
I was shot because of this kind of unhinged rhetoric.
Where’s the media outrage? pic.twitter.com/cJZQ3E4dnU
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) August 24, 2020
Scalise in response denounced Pelosi’s rhetoric as “disgusting” in a statement on Twitter.
“Disgusting: Nancy Pelosi just called Republicans ‘domestic enemies.’ I was shot because of this kind of unhinged rhetoric. Where’s the media outrage?” he wrote.
Scalise was shot on June 14, 2017 during a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, by James Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old from Belleville, Illinois. Hodgkinson targeted Republican congressmen with rifle fire, wounding Scalise and four others (two Capitol Police officers and two congressional staffers). Scalise underwent three surgeries as a result of the attack.
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), who was with Scalise at the time of the shooting, called on Pelosi to apologize for her remarks.
“I was w/ @SteveScalise and others when a deranged, GOP-hating gunman opened fire on us. This rhetoric hurts our country. We may disagree on policy, but I would never call Dem colleagues in Congress enemies of the state. Speaker Pelosi should apologize for her dangerous rhetoric,” Davis said on Twitter Monday.
“I served on the mission to capture Saddam Hussein. @SpeakerPelosi, I know what an enemy of the state is. Do you?” tweeted Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.).
Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) said Pelosi’s remarks amounted to “manufactured tribalism.”
“Be better than this, @SpeakerPelosi,” he tweeted. “To call GOP members domestic enemies to ‘honoring our Constitution’ is just wrong. @SteveScalise is correct. There should be media outrage. I would never call my Dem colleagues & friends domestic enemies.”
President Donald Trump has publicly criticized voting by mail, saying it paves the way for potential voter fraud.
The president’s stance on on the security of mail-in ballots has also been echoed by Attorney General William Barr, who said earlier this year that elections conducted predominately through vote-by-mail could open up “many occasions for fraud … that cannot be policed.”
Democrats argue that mail-in voting options are necessary in order for voters to comply with public health recommendations to reduce gatherings due to the pandemic.