NC lawmaker tells Trump, 'Don't come back'

Posted July 17, 2018 1:16 p.m. EDT
Updated July 17, 2018 2:43 p.m. EDT

— Many politicians took to social media with strong opinions about President Donald Trump's comments in Helsinki on Monday. But a tweet by state Rep. Grier Martin, D-Wake, went further than most.

Martin is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who is finishing his 28-military career in the Army Reserves.

As of noon Tuesday, the post had more than 1,800 retweets and 4,500 likes.

"I guess it struck a nerve and resonated with folks," Martin said.

He explained that he is not currently on active duty and is therefore not precluded by the Uniform Code of Military Justice from making disparaging comments about the Commander in Chief.

"This tweet was not at all in my capacity as a member of the U.S. Army," he said.

Martin said Trump's comments were particularly disturbing to "folks of my generation."

"I came of age at the very end of the Cold War," he explained. "As a cadet, I was learning Soviet tactics and Soviet weapons."

He also noted that the vast majority of replies to his tweet expressed agreement, and many urged Martin to take legislative action. As a state lawmaker, not a member of Congress, there's little action he can take.

"That says to me that there's a frustration in the public with both Democrats and Republicans who have condemned the president’s conduct in Finland but have not in the public's view taken action they believe would be appropriate," he said.

Reached for comment on the tweet, North Carolina Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse was uncharacteristically low-key.

"It’s over the top, as much of the commentary from the left about the president often is," Woodhouse said. "One can disagree with the president without calling for his exile."

On Twitter, the disagreements, though few, were more vehement.