Former Hillary Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon took heat on Thursday for calling to “defund the police” as the nation is gripped with protests and riots against police brutality.
The "defund the police" movement has gained traction by Black Lives Matter activists following the death of George Floyd.
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley asked Fallon on Twitter if this was now the “official position” of the Democratic Party.
Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell called on the Biden campaign to condemn the rhetoric immediately.
“Obama-Biden Justice Department Spokesman calls for defunding the police,” Grenell wrote. “This must be widely condemned by the Biden campaign immediately.”
“Hillary Clinton press secretary makes the 2020 Dem agenda clear: 'Defund the police.' Take away your guns. Cheer on the rioters & looters who burn your city,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said on Twitter. ”It’s like Mad Max at Thunderdome, brought home to America.”
“Wealthy liberals like Hillary Clinton's former press assistant have no problem calling to defund the police—they can live in gated communities and hire security guards,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.
White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Farrah sarcastically called Fallon’s tweet “brave.”
“How brave! This, coming from Hillary Clinton's former Spox who rode around in motorcades with her with Police escorts to keep them safe,” she said.
Though the push has gained traction online, a leader with the Congressional Black Caucus seemed to reject the demand on Wednesday.
"No, I don't believe that we should defund police departments,” said caucus chairwoman Rep. Karen Bass, noting that she was “not familiar” with that demand from Black Lives Matter and would further consult them.
Bass on Wednesday joined with the leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and members of the Congressional Native American Caucus to call for legislation to condemn police brutality and reform police departments. Leaders predicted a package of reform bills could pass later this June.
Activists calling to defund police departments want resources diverted to other investments in the black community, such as education, health care and other community services.
The #DefundThePolice petition has gotten the support of liberal celebrities, including singer John Legend.
But the progressive movement doesn't appear to be gaining traction in the House. Instead of zeroing out police department budgets, lawmakers are focused on police reforms. The proposals are still being developed, but Bass outlined the broad themes of the "comprehensive" legislation: holding police accountable, identifying bad cops and training officers.
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the police reforms next week, Bass said, which will jumpstart the House's legislative response. Details of the forthcoming committee hearing have not yet been released.
The package of bills is being developed with the Congressional Black Caucus and Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., in the Senate.
Fox News' Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.