During the White House briefing on Wednesday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized "MAGA Republicans" for violent rhetoric, specifically mentioning Reps. Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump.
- Over the past week or so, we've heard many Republicans argue that this president ran as a uniter, and now he's calling MAGA Republicans, which is a very large swath of the American populace, semi-fascists. He is arguing that they're a threat to democracy. Does the White House believe that this is a fair criticism by Republicans, that this is not unifying language?
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: So I'll say this, Nancy. Sadly, there are more examples than I can count on how we have seen recently armed attacks on federal law enforcement. There are a couple of things I just want to say here. You have Representative Paul Gosar has posted videos depicting him attacking the president and members of Congress.
You have Representative Majority Taylor-- Marjorie Taylor-Greene has publicly expressed support for shooting prominent Democratic elected officials and suggesting physically assaulting transgender school officials. You have Representative Madison Cawthorn has said, falsely, if our election systems continue to be rigged and continue to be stolen, then it's going to lead to one place, and that's bloodshed. And just last week, you had Governor Ron DeSantis suggested that Dr. Fauci should be physically assaulted. And former President Trump has done the same many, many times.
Look, and many of your colleagues have actually talked about and reported on this dangerous trend that we're seeing. And for example, the New York Times headline from this month, as right-wing rhetoric escalates, so do threats and violence. And so these are things that we have to call out.
Again, I was talking-- I can't remember who just asked me the question, I was talking about soul of the nation, something the president has talked about since 2017, when he wrote that article in The Atlantic. And he's called it out then. He called it out January 6. He called it out Inauguration Day.
He called it out last week. He called it out yesterday. So there has been a consistent callout from the president about what he's seeing from an extreme part of this party, of the Republican Party. And historians, I would argue, would say the same.