A Missouri lawmaker started the day by making a comment on Facebook that would soon lead to calls for her resignation and even catch the attention of the Secret Service.
Two days after President Donald Trump once again blamed “both sides” for violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Democratic state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal went on her personal Facebook page Thursday morning to vent.
“I put up a statement saying, ‘I really hate Trump. He’s causing trauma and nightmares.’ That was my original post,” she told the Kansas City Star.
The Facebook post received many responses, Chappelle-Nadal said, and to one she replied, “I hope Trump is assassinated!”
She would later explain that she didn’t actually wish harm to come to Trump but wrote it out of frustration.
“I didn’t mean what I put up. Absolutely not,” Chappelle-Nadal told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It was in response to the concerns that I am hearing from residents of St. Louis.”
“There are people who are afraid of white supremacists,” she added. “There are people who are having nightmares. There are people who are afraid of going out in the streets. It’s worse than even Ferguson.”
Though she quickly deleted the comment, an image of the statement would soon circulate online.
Much like when comedian Kathy Griffin released a video and photo of her holding a mask made in the image of Trump’s bloody severed head, a backlash soon came, much of it from other Democrats in the state.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., released a statement condemning the remark and saying Chappelle-Nadal should resign.
Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., said that, “(C)alling for the assassination of the President is a federal crime. . . . (She is) an embarrassment to our state,” according to the Post-Dispatch.
Calls for her resignation came from Republican Gov. Eric Greitens and Missouri’s Democratic Party chairman, Stephen Webber, while a statement by Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh said that, “There is too much rancor and hate in today’s political discourse, and Sen. Chappelle-Nadal should be ashamed of herself for adding her voice to this toxic environment.”
The Secret Service said it is “looking into the comments,” adding that all threats made against the president, vice president and other protected persons are investigated, whether the threats are direct, implied or made in passing, according to the Associated Press.
Chappelle-Nadal, who joined the state Senate in 2010, told the AP that while she should not have posted the comment, she was expressing her right to free speech.
Trump’s comments about Charlottesville “make it easier for racists to be racists,” she told the Star. “As long as I have a voice, I’m going to talk about the damage (Trump) is creating in this nation.”
She has also refused calls to resign from her fellow Democrats, with whom she has clashed in the past.
Chappelle-Nadal had likened those looking to hand control of the St. Louis police force from the state to local authorities to “house slaves,” according to the Post Dispatch. In 2014, she criticized the response of former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon to unrest in Ferguson, at one point tweeting the governor, “I want a public apology for the Missouri Hwy Patrol excessively tear gassing a Senator & her constituents for 3 hrs 1st night!”
Chappelle-Nadal did not immediate respond to requests for comment.
She was, however, active on Twitter Thursday evening, retweeting those who supported her and then reiterating that she would not resign.
“I am not resigning. When POC are respected by this WH & they are willing to do real work, I’ll sit down with them. People are traumatized!