On Sunday, in the wake of the news that Twitter had permanently banned President Trump from using its platform and blowback ensued over concerns over free speech, Kelley Ashby Paul, the wife of Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul, blasted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, writing, “Hey @jack, remember how for the last three years you have allowed thousands of hateful tweets celebrating my husband’s assault and encouraging more violence against him? I do.”
Hey @jack , remember how for the last three years you have allowed thousands of hateful tweets celebrating my husband’s assault and encouraging more violence against him? I do.
— Kelley Paul (@KelleyAshbyPaul) January 10, 2021
The issue of violence-promoting tweets directed at Sen. Paul has made headlines a number of times since the brutal attack.
At the end of December, a man who was named “National Teacher of the Year” in 2019 by the Council of Chief State School Officers tweeted that the neighbors of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should act like a “true Kentucky hero” the way that the neighbor of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) violently attacked Paul in 2017, leaving him with six broken ribs and necessitating the removal of part of his lung.
Rodney Robinson tweeted, “Who are Mitch McConnell’s neighbors? I’m just saying Rand Paul’s neighbor did what a true Kentucky hero should do. It’s your turn to step up.”
2019 National Teacher of the Year pic.twitter.com/0PQTDxos3v
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) December 31, 2020
In response, Kelley Paul wrote, “I am so disgusted by this I have no words. The 2019 ‘National Teacher of the Year’ is celebrating the violent assault on my husband that resulted in 6 broken ribs and part of his lung being removed. This hateful thug is calling for more violence on Sen McConnell.”
In March 2020, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter appeared to praise the 2017 attack on Paul (R-KY) after Paul announced that he had contracted the coronavirus, which originated in China. Christine Pelosi tweeted, “Rand Paul’s neighbor was right.”
In July 2019, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), retweeted actor and outspoken leftist Tom Arnold on July 29 after he wrote on Twitter: “Imagine being Rand Paul’s next door neighbor and having to deal with [Rand Paul] lying cowardly circular whiney bullcrap about lawn clippings. No wonder he ripped his toupee off.”
In October 2018, Kelley Paul wrote an open letter to Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) in which she stated:
It’s nine o’clock at night, and as I watch out the window, a sheriff’s car slowly drives past my home. I am grateful that they have offered to do extra patrols, as someone just posted our home address, and Rand’s cell number, on the internet – all part of a broader effort to intimidate and threaten Republican members of Congress and their families. I now keep a loaded gun by my bed. Our security systems have had to be expanded. I have never felt this way in my life.
In the last 18 months, our family has experienced violence and threats of violence at a horrifying level. I will never forget the morning of the shooting at the congressional baseball practice, the pure relief and gratitude that flooded me when I realized that Rand was okay.
He was not okay last November, when a violent and unstable man attacked him from behind while he was working in our yard, breaking six ribs and leaving him with lung damage and multiple bouts of pneumonia. Kentucky’s secretary of state, Alison Lundergan Grimes, recently joked about it in a speech. MSNBC commentator Kasie Hunt laughingly said on air that Rand’s assault was one of her “favorite stories.” Cher, Bette Midler, and others have lauded his attacker on Twitter. I hope that these women never have to watch someone they love struggle to move or even breathe for months on end.
Earlier this week, Rand was besieged in the airport by activists “getting up in his face,” as you, Senator Booker, encouraged them to do a few months ago.Preventing someone from moving forward, thrusting your middle finger in their face, screaming vitriol – is this the way to express concern or enact change? Or does it only incite unstable people to violence, making them feel that assaulting a person is somehow politically justifiable?
Senator Booker, Rand has worked with you to co-sponsor criminal justice reform bills. He respects you, and so do I. I would call on you to retract your statement. I would call on you to condemn violence, the leaking of elected officials’ personal addresses (our address was leaked from a Senate directory given only to senators), and the intimidation and threats that are being hurled at them and their families.
Author: Hank Berrien