House Republican leadership has sent a memo to GOP members of Congress directing them to lie about right wing white supremacist gun massacres, and to call it “violence from the left.”
The memo, which The Tampa Bay Times acquired, includes talking points for congressional Republicans to parrot when speaking with reporters or constituents. It instructs them on how to address questions about gun violence, including the domestic terrorism recently perpetrated in El Paso, Texas.
If asked a question like, “Do you believe white nationalism is driving more mass shootings recently?” GOP lawmakers are being told to offer this response:
“White nationalism and racism are pure evil and cannot be tolerated in any form,” the document directs lawmakers to say, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “We also can’t excuse violence from the left such as the El Paso shooter, the recent Colorado shooters, the Congressional baseball shooter, Congresswoman Giffords’ shooter and Antifa.”
The El Paso shooting suspect who killed 22 people targeted Hispanic people specifically. He is reportedly a far right wing domestic terrorist who left a manifesto that quoted or echoed President Donald Trump multiple times.
The false claims are not only being sent to Republicans in the House, the lawmakers are sending them to their constituents.
For example, as the Tampa Bay Times notes, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis of Florida sent the false “violence from the left” claim in a newsletter to his constituents.
The House Republican leadership talking points also direct lawmakers to falsely conflate mass shootings where there was no political motivation, or an ambiguous motivation, with the left, such as the Dayton shooter.
“The GOP conference talking points ascribed other shootings as leftist violence despite ambiguous, if not contradictory, evidence,” the Tampa Bay Times explains. “The shooter that wounded U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, a Democrat, was paranoid about government and obsessed with the Arizona Congresswoman, a law enforcement investigation found. His political persuasions were mixed and did not appear to be a factor. Nor does it seem that the May shooters at a Colorado high school — both teenagers and bullied students — were motivated by politics.”