Florida GOP congressional candidate George Buck is in trouble with GOP leadership after suggesting Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar should “hang.”
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., said Buck should immediately apologize for the fundraising email targeting Omar, a Somali-born Democrat and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress.
“There's no place for inciting violence in politics,” the House Republican Whip said in a statement Wednesday. “Instead of doubling down on these disgraceful comments, the candidate ought to apologize unequivocally and denounce these unacceptable statements.”
Buck is one of six Republicans running for Congress in St. Petersburg trying to unseat Democrat Rep. Charlie Crist.
Fox News has confirmed GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has removed Buck from the Young Guns program, a special recruitment program for promising Republican candidates. A source familiar with the matter says National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Emmer agrees with the decision.
The condemnation comes after the Buck campaign sent a fundraising email on Nov. 26 to supporters repeating an unsubstantiated allegation that Omar secretly works for the country of Qatar and should be gravely punished for it, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“We should hang these traitors where they stand,” the email said.
It wasn’t clear who the other “traitors” were, but the note also mentions Crist, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the so-called “squad,” Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
Buck initially denied writing the email that was signed by him and blamed it on his campaign manager.
“That was not me. I did not see that," Buck told the Tampa Bay Times. "I would never talk like that.”
Later, Buck reversed course and defended the email. He sent the newspaper a statement that included the constitutional definition of treason and its punishment: "death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000.”
“Anyone who commits treason against the United States should be tried to the full extent of the law,” Buck said.
Buck was the GOP nominee for Florida’s 13th congressional district in 2018 but lost out to Crist, the former Florida governor.
This is not the first time a politician has suggested Omar be hanged.
Twitter suspended the accounts of Danielle Stella, a GOP candidate hoping to challenge Omar for Congress after she posted last month about killing the congresswoman.
Stella’s account, @2020MNCongress, accused Omar –without evidence – of working against the United States.
“If it is proven @IlhanMN passed sensitive info to Iran, she should be tried for #treason and hanged,” Stella’s campaign tweeted, according to the Washington Times.
Her account also tweeted a picture of a stick figure hanging from the gallows, the Times reported.
Omar retweeted comments from supporters Wednesday calling Buck’s email a death threat and calling for NRCC to condemn him.
She got the backing of fellow squad member Tlaib who accused Republicans of standing by white supremacy.
“The fact that those who make these violent threats very publicly without hesitation reaffirms just how much white supremacy has spread within the @NRCC. They are raising money on a call to hang a Black Muslim member of Congress and too many are silent,” Tlaib wrote and Omar retweeted.
Fox News’ Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.