In a since-deleted tweet, Rep. Eric Swalwell coarsely dismissed threats of rape against a Republican senator’s staff.
Early Thursday morning, the Democratic congressman replied to news that Sen. Susan Collins said her office had received numerous nasty voicemails, including a rape threat, by tweeting: “Boo hoo hoo. You’re a senator who police will protect. A sexual assault victim can’t sleep in her home tonight because of threats. Where are you sleeping? She’s on her own while you and your @SenateGOP colleagues try to rush her through a hearing.”
For context, Collins has said her office has received numerous nasty voicemails from people who do not want her to vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
“In one case – and we are going to turn this over to the police, but unfortunately, of course, the person didn’t leave a name or number – but they actually threatened to rape one of my young female staffers,” Collins said.
Senate staffers generally do not have police protection, which means it is likely this threatened staffer is traveling to and from work without any sort of a security detail. Swalwell’s assertion that threats of rape are unimportant because Collins has a security detail doesn’t make any sense in this context. It’s also hugely hypocritical compared to the frequent Democrat accusation that Republicans don’t care about sexual assault.
He has deleted the offending tweet and issued an apology.
Sexual assault victims deserve respect. And senators shouldn’t be threatened by the public. I said something stupid and minimized ugly behavior. That tweet is deleted and I’m sorry for that.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) September 20, 2018
Earlier this month, Swalwell’s Republican opponent, Rudy Peters, was reportedly attacked by a man wielding a knife. The suspect, 35-year-old Farzad Fazeli, allegedly tried to stab Peters with a pink folding knife that failed to open at a fall festival event in California.