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!”
CBS News asked Griffin Thursday if he stood by his statement in the video and he replied, “Well, no.” He said did not wish “physical harm on any individual person.” He also said he’d been receiving death threats in response to the video.
“I’ve got a lot of friends who are Democrats, and I don’t wish ill on them,” he said. Later he added, “I don’t wish them ill, I don’t wish death upon on them, but I sure don’t think they do our country any justice.”
But Griffin also said there were some Democrats in Washington and in statehouses who may have committed “treason,” and people guilty of treason face “a firing squad” or “the end of the rope.” Griffin has a history of comments saying Democratic lawmakers should be hanged or executed.
The video shows Griffin speaking at a rally in a church in May 17, where he defied a public safety order for the. 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 told CBS News he would not resign.
Speaking about President Trump tweeting his video, Griffin said, “It really means a lot to me, because I know that the president of the United States has my back.”