Raleigh City Council member Stef Mendell shared a tweet calling the Republican Party, the National Rifle Association and President Donald Trump, among others, the greatest threats to America.
Mendell retweeted a tweet from Scott Dworkin, who is listed as a co-founder of the Democratic Coalition and MSNBC contributor, from her personal twitter account on the heels of a mass shooting at a Florida high school where 17 people were killed.
“Like many people I am very upset with the gun violence in this country and do feel that the Republican Party, by and large on the national level, has not done anything constructive to deal with gun violence,” Mendell said in an interview Friday evening. “Basically accepting lots of money from the NRA and not being willing to take some basic common sense steps. My intent was not to offend anybody. I know there are certainly very good people who are Republicans but I do have to say that the Republican stance on gun issues is one that I am very concerned about.”
The full list of “greatest threats to America” listed in the original tweet included white supremacists, the NRA, Republican Party, the Russian government, the 130 staffers in the (White House without) security clearance, Trump’s Twitter account, Trump’s entire administration, Trump’s family, House Speaker Paul Ryan, U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Trump.”
“If someone wants to get mad at me about it that’s fine, but I wish they would think about the families whose children won’t be coming home any more and the little kids who have to learn active shooter drills in elementary school,” Mendell said. “I mean it’s heartbreaking.”
However, Mendell said she still believes that the Republican Party in Washington is one of the greatest threats in the country right now.
“What they are doing in conjunction with Donald Trump is criminal,” she said.
Brent Woodcox, a staff attorney for legislative leaders and co-founder of Share Raleigh, tweeted the city doesn’t need “this mean-spirited, divisive, partisan rhetoric” in Raleigh government.
“(Mendell) is free to espouse her views on Twitter but I think it’s a bad look for a city councilor to say her Republican constituents are a ‘threat to America,’ ” he tweeted with a screenshot of the original tweet.
Mendell, who represents District E in northwest Raleigh, was elected last year. She retired in 2013 after working as an international communications executive with GlaxoSmithKline.
Last fall, Wake County Commissioner John Burns called Trump a “white supremacist.”