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Mo. lawmaker apologizes for saying she hoped Trump would be assassinated, but won't resign

By CELESTE BOTT
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

August 20. 2017 9:07PM
MARIA CHAPPELLE-NADAL (File photo)

FERGUSON, Mo. — A Missouri state senator Sunday apologized for a Facebook post that hoped for the assassination of President Donald Trump, saying, “I made a mistake.”

But Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a Democrat who critics say should resign, did not indicate any willingness to do so.

At a news conference held at Wellspring Church on Sunday, said she made a mistake and let others down.

“President Trump, I apologize to you and your family,” she said.

She extended that contrition to all Missourians and her colleagues in the state Legislature.

“I am a servant of God, and I am a servant of the people I represent. And I failed them both recently,” Chappelle-Nadal said. “I have learned my lesson.”

The backlash was swift after an exchange on Facebook Thursday in which Chappelle-Nadal wrote “I hope Trump is assassinated!” — a post she promptly deleted.

Chappelle-Nadal later admitted the remark was wrong, explaining that she had succumbed to frustration over events in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend, during which a white supremacist protester drove his car through a group of counter-protesters, killing a woman.

Trump later asserted that “both sides” of the protests were to blame for the violence, drawing criticism across the political spectrum.

Plenty of Missouri Democrats have expressed outrage at Trump’s reaction. But threatening the president is a federal crime, and her hastily deleted Facebook post has already prompted a Secret Service investigation and could cost Chappelle-Nadal her job, whether she leaves on her own or not.

Missouri’s highest-ranking elected officials, Republicans and Democrats alike, have demanded that Chappelle-Nadal quit. State Senate leaders have given her an ultimatum: resign, or be expelled.

Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, the president of the Missouri Senate, has asked Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley to review the applicability of a constitutional provision allowing senators to expel colleagues with a two-thirds vote.


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