Starting off CNN's early show, host John Avlon read the statement released from Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) after an alleged bomber threatened to blow up the U.S. Capitol and Library of Congress Thursday.
When the five-hour stand-off had concluded, Brooks released a statement calling the man a terrorist, but then empathized with his strife.
"Although this terrorist's motivation is not yet publicly known, and generally speaking, I understand citizenry anger director at dictatorial Socialism and its threat to liberty, freedom and the very fabric of American society," wrote Brooks.
Avlon noted that Brooks was among those who spoke at the Jan. 6 rally ahead of the attack on the Capitol. He told the crowd to "start taking down names and kicking ass."
"Look," Avlon began, "what the actual hell? This is a member of Congress running for the Senate. Without knowing the facts, saying, 'I don't know the details,' but my sympathies are with people who might have been motivated to possibly say they have a bomb to blow up where he works the heart of the Capitol -- again?"
Brianna Keilar noted that it was alarming because there may be a constituency for the kind of sympathies Brooks is expressing and for domestic terrorism itself.
"If that's not a screaming warning about a sickness in our politics where a politician already implicated for incitement, given what he said go and kick-ass on Capitol Hill, to see this and his first impulse is to put out a statement saying he doesn't know all the details but he wants to sympathize with what he believes might be their impulse?" Avlon responded. "That is -- we have crossed a line when politicians see political gain in praising people who say they want to blow up the place where they work."
See the video below:
Mo Brooks www.youtube.com