The New York Times should take down and apologize for a short story about assassinating President Donald Trump, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The media needs to take accountability for the role they are playing in promoting dangerous rhetoric and division in this country, particularly against President Trump and his supporters,” Scalise, R-La., said Thursday in a statement. “The decision by The New York Times to run this piece is irresponsible and offensive, and they should remove it and apologize.”
The Times published a short story Tuesday about the assassination of Trump, just one day before “potential explosive devices” showed up addressed to high-profile Democrats including former President Barack Obama.
English thriller novelist Zoë Sharp wrote the short story, titled “How It Ends,” about a Russian assassin on a suicide mission who receives help from a Secret Service agent to kill Trump. A character who is working with the Russians in the story implies that Trump “was handpicked at the highest possible level” and must be silenced.
The New York Times had prompted novelists “to conjure possible outcomes” to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election for a Tuesday piece.
Scalise has spoken out about dangerous tensions in the nation since he was seriously wounded by a would-be assassin in 2017.
“These attempted attacks that have been made are beyond criminal, they are acts of pure terror. Violence and terror have no place in our politics or anywhere else in our society,” Scalise wrote on Twitter Wednesday after multiple high-profile political figures had pipe bomb scares.
“I have experienced first-hand the effects of political violence, and am committed to using my voice to speak out against it wherever I can,” he added.
The New York Times had not responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment at the time of publication.
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