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GOP Rep: Trump ‘Partially to Blame’ for Unleashing America’s Political ‘Demons’

Congressman Mark Sanford (R-SC) gave an interview on Morning Joe today, during which, he said that President Trump was partially at fault for fueling the politically-toxic environment that culminated with yesterday’s attack at the Congressional baseball practice.

Sanford began by describing the “surreal” atmosphere that hangs over Capitol Hill as Congress continues to deal with the fallout from the attack. When asked about whether yesterday’s shooting would cause politicians to dial back their rhetoric against opposing viewpoints, Sanford said there was a lot of soul-searching going on as people think about the calls for unity and civility from Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan.

“I think we have to watch out as a society because, if we don’t watch out, civility is indeed a part of civilized government and an open political system,” said Sanford. “If you let these forces play out, I think we end up at a very, very bad spot. I think what happened yesterday was symptomatic of it.

Sanford expressed concern that the political armistice won’t last, and as he did so, he said that Trump deserves at least some of the blame for the current state of deep division and incendiary rhetoric that has proliferated around the country.

“I would argue that the president is at least in partially – not totally – but partially to blame for demons that have been unleashed. The fact that you have the top guy saying I wish I can hit you in the face. Why don’t you and I’ll pay your legal fees. That’s bizarre. We ought to call it as such. What I’ve said back home, some of these people have been frankly weird and different in a town hall meeting. I say what is going on. They’ll say look, if the guy at the top can say anything to anybody at any time, why can’t I? I think we all need to look for ways to learn from what happened yesterday and to say, wait a minute, this is a pause moment. What might I do a little differently in the way I reached out to other members.”

Yesterday’s shooter, James T. Hodgkinson, was known to be a fan of Bernie Sanders.

Watch above, via MSNBC.

[Image via screengrab]

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