GOP candidate sends email saying Democratic congresswoman should be hanged

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A message sent by Florida Republican George Buck's campaign calls for Rep. Ilhan Omar and other Democrats to be executed for treason.

Florida GOP congressional candidate George Buck's campaign sent a fundraising email late last month that baselessly accused Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) of secretly working for Qatar and suggested she and other Democrats were traitors who should be executed.

Buck is hoping to take on Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) once more, after losing to him by more than 15 points last year.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, in a Nov. 26 fundraising email with his signature at the bottom, Buck's campaign accused Omar — a Somali-born naturalized American citizen and one of just two Muslim American women in Congress — of treason.

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"We should hang these traitors where they stand," the email read.

The email also accused Crist of being "responsible" for Omar because he voted for the Democratic House leadership and falsely claimed Crist had "declared himself a Democratic socialist."

While Buck initially told the paper on Tuesday that his campaign manager wrote the fundraising email and that he "would never talk like that," Buck later emailed the Tampa Bay Times a statement apparently standing by the original email.

According to the outlet, "The statement included the constitutional definition of treason and the federal punishment: 'death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000.'"

Buck also stated that "anyone who commits treason against the United States should be tried to the full extent of the law."

Buck's campaign did not immediately respond to an inquiry asking whether he still stands by the belief that Omar and other Democrats are traitors.

Pinellas County GOP chairman Todd Jennings denounced Buck's email in a Facebook post on Tuesday. "There is no room for this kind of inflammatory rhetoric in either political party. No one should ever condone a candidate’s call for violence," he wrote.

Until Wednesday, Buck had the support of the National Republican Congressional Committee, but House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy dropped him from its Young Guns program following news about his comments.

As the Tampa Bay Times noted, Danielle Stella, a Republican candidate challenging Omar in Minnesota, was recently kicked off of Twitter for suggesting the first-term congresswoman be "tried for [treason] and hanged." Stella had spread an uncorroborated claim — dismissed even by Omar's fiercest critics — that she is a "Qatari asset" providing information to help Iran.

Creative Loafing reported on Monday that Hillsborough County GOP chair Jim Waurishuk also recently called for "some hangin's [sic]" for those he considers treasonous, though he later claimed it had been a joke.

Omar, like many immigrants and Muslim Americans, has faced repeated death threats since Donald Trump attacked her patriotism and demanded she leave the country earlier this year.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.