Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Saturday denied “claims that he is advocating for violence” after he seemed to suggest just that as a remedy to President Donald Trump’s election loss during a Newsmax interview on Friday.
“I have not encouraged and unequivocally do not advocate for violence,” Gohmert wrote in a statement posted to Twitter on Saturday afternoon, adding: “Violence is not the answer.”
The comments come after Gohmert seemed to imply during a Friday night interview on the conservative news network that taking to the streets and being “violent” might be the only recourse for Trump’s allies who are increasingly desperate and running out of options to overturn an election won by President-elect Joe Biden.
A fuming Gohmert on Friday had railed against the order by a federal judge on Friday to toss out the GOP lawmaker’s lawsuit which effectively argued Vice President Mike Pence had the power to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
“But if bottom line is, the court is saying, ‘We’re not going to touch this. You have no remedy’ — basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you gotta go the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM,” Gohmert had told Newsmax on Friday after Judge Jeremy Kernodle issued an order for the dismissal of his lawsuit.
Louie Gohmert on Newsmax: "But if bottom line is, the court is saying, 'We're not going to touch this. You have no remedy' — basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you gotta go the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM." pic.twitter.com/cZIdGTiQls
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 2, 2021
The Friday comments were a mischaracterization of a movement for racial justice and were widely critcized as a call to arms by a sitting member of Congress, whose outrage came after Kernodle wrote in his decision that Gohmert’s alleged injury in the lawsuit filed in Texas was “far too uncertain to support standing.”
The lawsuit, which sough to attribute authority to Pence to effectively override the will of the people, was notably rejected by the vice president. The Justice Department and the House of Representatives had also called on the court to reject Gohmert’s long-shot effort.
While asserting on Saturday that he only advocates “peaceful protest,” the GOP lawmaker has appeared to advocate for the use of force in the past. In fact the Dallas Morning News points out that he previously urged Trump supporters to consider “revolution” amid Trump’s electoral defeat. At the “Million MAGA March” in November, he suggested action similar to the Egyptian uprising less than a decade ago and the revolt of American colonies against England. “If they can do that there,” Gohmert said of Egypt, “think of what we can do here.”
Backing away from any association with violence on Saturday, Gohmert said that while he associated himself with the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr. “that does not keep me from recognizing what lies ahead when the institutions created by a self-governing people to peacefully resolve disputes hide from their responsibility.”
Gohmert has vowed that his lawyers would be appealing the decision by the Trump-appointed federal judge.