A New York Democratic congressman is being accused of promoting violence against President Trump after suggesting during a town hall that citizens may have to take up arms against the president if he doesn’t follow the law.
“I mean, this is where the Second Amendment comes in quite frankly, because you know, what if the president was to ignore the courts? What would you do? What would we do?” Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., said during a March 12 Q&A session with constituents in Huntington, on Long Island.
“It’s really a matter of putting public pressure on the president,” he said.
The exchange was captured on a Facebook Live stream.
After Suozzi referenced the Second Amendment, a constituent asked him to explain the amendment.
“The Second Amendment is the right to bear arms,” the Democrat said. “That’s why we have it.”
Republicans are accusing Suozzi of promoting violence.
"When resistance and obstruction don't work out, Tom Suozzi proposes violence,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Chris Martin said in a statement. “He's completely out of touch."
A spokesperson for Suozzi denied that the congressman was calling for "armed insurrection" against Trump.
“Taking a page from such great Americans as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, Congressman Suozzi explained why our founding fathers created the Second Amendment as a way for citizens to fight back against a tyrannical government that does not follow the rule of law," senior adviser Kim Devlin said in a Monday statement to Fox News.
Devlin added: "To suggest his comments meant anything else or that he was advocating for an armed insurrection against the existing president is both irresponsible and ridiculous.”
Suozzi made the comment about the Second Amendment when a constituent asked him a question about Trump and the United States’ “constitutional system of checks and balances.”
Suozzi predicted the issue could be “going to the courts as well.”
Suozzi, who served as Nassau County executive from 2002 to 2009, was elected to Congress in 2016 and is seeking re-election this fall.