Republican supporters directed chants of “Lock her up! Lock her up!” towards Hillary Clinton at a Make America Great Again rally in Wisconsin on Wednesday, just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump called for unity in the wake of crude pipe bombs being mailed to Clinton and other high-profile Democrats.
The chants came during a speech by Republican Senate candidate Leah Vukmir at a rally in Mosinee, Wis., less than an hour before Trump himself was scheduled to speak.
According to CNN and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporters present at the rally, Vukmir told the crowd that her opponent in the Senate race — Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin — hired Clinton’s lawyers to defend her after a scandal about over-prescription of opioids at a veterans’ facility in Tomah, Wis.
The passing mention of Clinton promptly elicited chants of “Lock her up,” as seen in video footage shared by MSNBC. Vukmir smiled and didn’t interrupt as the crowd went about the chant.
Vukmir also got the crowd booing about the news media by claiming that news outlets were failing to report on President Trump donating his paycheques to help veterans. Snopes has previously assessed that claims of Trump donating his entire salary to veterans’ causes are mathematically impossible.
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The chants were condemned by some Democrats including Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy.
“This is Trump’s Republican Party, folks. Hours after the attempted assassination of Hillary Clinton, we’re back to this,” Murphy tweeted.
Earlier, Democratic Rep. John Delaney of Maryland pleaded for an end to the “Lock her up” chants, suggesting that such chants were a part of the same “incredibly toxic political environment” that contributed to events such as the mailing of explosive devices to the Clintons, former president Barack Obama and CNN, among others.
“Unless we bring the country together and reaffirm the notion of unity and common purpose, we will live in a world of increased division and discord that will incite troubled and evil people to real and tragic violence,” said Delaney according to The Hill.
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Trump, who has frequently lambasted Clinton and others at his rallies — often with menacing undertones — condemned the attempted attacks on Wednesday, urging the nation to come together and send “one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.”
— With a file from the Associated Press
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