‘I am not resigning,’ Missouri Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal says, defying calls after Trump assassination post
Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal was adamant Friday that she isn’t resigning over a Facebook post calling for President Donald Trump’s assassination.
Chappelle-Nadal, a University City Democrat, has faced calls by Missouri’s top Democrats and Republicans demanding she resign from the legislature over a comment she posted on her personal Facebook Thursday: “I hope Trump is assassinated.”
Among those calling for her resignation were the chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Chappelle-Nadal deleted the comment and said posting it was a mistake. She said she posted the comment out of frustration with Trump’s statements about recent events in Charlottesville, Va., where an alleged white supremacist drove his car into a crowd near the city’s downtown mall, killing a 32-year-old woman.
But in a series of tweets after the calls from her fellow Democrats to resign, she struck a defiant tone.
“I am not resigning,” she said. “When (people of color) are respected by this (White House) & they are willing to do real work, I’ll sit down with them. People are traumatized!”
She then retweeted statements of support along with racist comments she began receiving after news broke about her Facebook post. One person sent her a message on Twitter that was just the N-word over and over again from a Twitter account called “KillMaria69.”
She also tweeted a link to a website, “I Stand With Maria.”
“Out of anger and frustration, I said something that could have been reframed,” she said on the website. “And I refuse to shy away from the hypocrisy and chaos our country is enduring under Trump.”
Lt. Gov. Mike Parson’s office said Friday that he would call for Chappelle-Nadal’s expulsion from office under Article III, Section 18 of the Missouri Constitution, which allows the Senate to expel a member with a two-thirds vote.
Gov. Eric Greitens endorsed her removal by Senate vote in a statement Friday: “Senator Chappelle-Nadal said she hopes the President is killed. Republicans and Democrats have called on her to resign. Her response: ‘Hell no.’ Last night, in an interview, she refused to apologize — twice.
“If she will not resign, the Senate can vote to remove her. I believe they should.”
Both Senate President Ron Richard, a Joplin Republican, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe, a Jefferson City Republican, echoed the call for resignation and said that if Chappelle-Nadal continues to refuse she may be kicked out.
“The process of expulsion is a significant, rarely used step that should not be taken lightly,” Kehoe said. “We are researching the detailed steps involved in the expulsion process and will be prepared to move forward as necessary.”
Also calling for her resignation was House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, a Kansas City Democrat and the highest-ranking black lawmaker in Missouri.
“Suggestions of violence have no place in our political discourse, and an elected official who expresses hope for someone’s murder has forfeited the right to hold office,” McCann Beatty said. “Given state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s repugnant social media post suggesting the president should be assassinated, she must resign.”
The Missouri Legislative Black Caucus said in a statement that it “does not condone the derogatory remarks made by Sen. Chappelle-Nadal nor do we condone the recent comments made by President Trump.”
“Although we hold both offices in very high respects, their inappropriate behavior and disturbing comments only act as catalyst for more violence and racial division in our country.”
McCaskill, who on Thursday called for Chappelle-Nadal’s resignation, said Friday that she had not spoken with the state senator since the Facebook post.
McCaskill told reporters that leaders of the Democratic Party have spoken in one voice against Chappelle-Nadal’s comments.
“There’s nothing we can do to force her to resign, but we can continue to reject that kind of advocation of violence,” McCaskill said. “That’s the problem we have now.
“We need to bring people together. We need to quit trying to separate people and bring people together, so I just think it’s incumbent on all of us to continue to work toward those goals and I just think it’s unfortunate she’s not taking the advice of those leaders.”