National News

AZ Congressman says daughter threatened; threats against lawmakers on rise

Posted June 15

— The day before a lone gunman targeted Republican members of Congress on a baseball field, Rep. David Schweikert says he filed four threat assessments with Capitol Police.

Schweikert, a Republican from Arizona, said Wednesday that one of those threats was made against his infant daughter.

"Look, when you hold public office you get used to being beaten up; it comes with the job. But... going after my 20-month-old little girl, something is really wrong with these people," Schweikert said Wednesday during a telephone interview.

For Schweikert, the recent threats to his office and today's shooting underscore the toxic political environment that can quickly turn violent.

"Oh, I've never seen anything like this, this is halfway through my seventh year so I've been here when things have been very cantankerous and nothing ever like this," Schweikert said.

Schweikert is not the only member of Congress who is reporting a spike in number threats made against their offices.

According to BuzzFeed News, numerous members of Congress said they've seen an increase before and after today's shooting in Virginia, near the nation's Capitol.

Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan, a Democrat from California, told BuzzFeed that her office received a call shortly after the shooting saying, "You guys are next."

The political atmosphere has some lawmakers questioning whether they should beef up security when they return to the home districts.

Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat from Arizona, said there's a conversation about using campaign contributions to secure their private homes.

The money, he said, would be used for adding better security devices like locks and doors.

However, Gallego said he doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about security.

"Look it's just been a very hard harsh rhetoric and a lot of times I just make sure to look at stuff I think is very serious, but other than that, I can't, you know, we can't really really focus too much on that because it will just slow down your whole day and your job."

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