President Trump on Thursday retweeted a video of a supporter saying that the “only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” The man in the video is a New Mexico politician who faced calls to resign after making the remark earlier this month.
Mr. Trump at midnight retweeted a video from Cowboys For Trump featuring the group’s founder, Couy Griffin, who is also the Otero County commissioner. The clip shows Griffin speaking to a crowd of supporters.
“I’ve come to a place where I’ve come to the conclusion that the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” Griffin says in the first seconds of the clip, drawing cheers and applause.
“I don’t say that in the physical sense, and I can already see where the videos getting edited where it says I want to go murder Democrats,” Griffin continues. “No. I say that in the political sense because the Democrat agenda and policy is anti-American right now.”
Moments later, Griffin again says that “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” but adds that he’s “saying it politically-speaking” and that he’s calling for conservative candidates to take the majorities in New Mexico’s government.
Mr. Trump did not comment directly on what Griffin says in the video, writing only, “Thank you Cowboys. See you in New Mexico!”
The video shows Griffin speaking at a rally in a church in May 17, where he defied a public safety order for the coronavirus pandemic. Politicians in New Mexico had already called for Griffin to step down when the video first circulated.
“The County Commissioner’s comment is despicable, indefensible, and un-American,” New Mexico’s House Speaker Brian Egolf, a Democrat, said on Twitter. “He represents Rs, Ds, and Independents. He should immediately apologize and resign.”
The New Mexico GOP indirectly commented on Griffin’s video, issuing a statement saying, “The Republican Party of New Mexico wants to state for the record that any statements, whether in jest or serious about harming another individual are just plain wrong.”
Griffin has refused to resign.
CBS News reached out to Griffin for comment. In an interview with The Daily Beast on Wednesday, a day before the president retweeted the video, Griffin said he “could’ve chosen a different verbiage.”
“I guess I need to be more careful when I choose the words that I speak,” he said.
Still, he suggested some Democrats are guilty of treason and suggested they face a fatal punishment.
“You get to pick your poison: you either go before a firing squad, or you get the end of the rope,” Griffin said.
Griffin also has a history of comments saying Democratic lawmakers should be hanged or executed, and he suggested there could be a civil war between people who do and don’t wear masks during the pandemic.