Democrat Rep. Steve Cohen suggested on Monday that white male service members posed a threat to the safety of Joe Biden.
CNN anchor Jim Scuitto asked Cohen about military and law enforcement, specifically when asking if he was concerned about an “insider threat” from members of the National Guard assigned to protect the Capitol during the inauguration of Biden this week.
Cohen responded 75 percent of the Guard protecting the Capitol “are in the class that would be the large class of folks who might want to do something.”
According to a transcript, Cohen said:
“I was reading about this on my Twitter account, I guess, and people were reminding people of Anwar Sadat and Indira Gandhi who were killed by their own people. I was thinking, the guard is 90 some odd percent, I believe, male.
Only about 20 percent of white males voted for Biden. You have got to figure that the guard, which is predominantly more conservative and I see that on my social media, and we know it, they are probably 25 percent of the people that are there protecting us who voted for Biden.
The other 75 percent are in the class that would be the large class of folks who might want to do something. And there were military people and police who took oath to defend the Constitution and to protect and defend who didn’t do it who were in the insurrection. So it does concern me. But the vetting at the last minute —”
Even CNN anchor Scuitto pushed back against the notion that voting for Trump automatically makes one an inside threat. He said, “to have voted for Trump does not make you an insider, I mean, that is far different from being a threat of violence inside, whether the National Guard or law enforcement.”
When he asked Cohen if he had any evidence to bake such a broad claim, Cohen responded, “Actually not, Jim. But you draw a circle of people who work for Trump and not for Biden as far as people who would be within the zone of folks who you would be suspect of. The suspect group is large.”
According to a New York Times exit poll, 38 percent of white men voted for Biden — far higher than the 25 percent that Cohen claimed.
Republicans responded by torching Cohen for his baseless claims. Rep. Mike Waltz, a Green Beret and National Guard lieutenant colonel, tweeted: “This is wrong on so many levels.”
Others on Twitter pointed out that Cohen is ironically the chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights, and civil liberties.
Harrison Fields, communications director for Rep. Byron Donalds, a freshman congressman from Florida, also slammed Cohen’s remarks.
“Disgusting. These courageous men & women don’t see a red or blue America they see the United States of America. 100% of the @USNationalGuard are currently protecting your dumbass at the U.S. Capitol—pretend for just a second to appreciate their sacrifice. Apologize, @RepCohen,” he tweeted.