From Spankings to Executions, Violent Rhetoric Against Clinton Escalates

Image: Hillary Clinton speaks at the African Methodist Episcopal church national convention in Philadelphia
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the African Methodist Episcopal church national convention in Philadelphia on July 8, 2016.Matt Rourke / AP

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Christina Coleburn

The rhetoric directed toward presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has escalated sharply less than halfway through the Republican National Convention this week in Cleveland.

By Wednesday, a Trump delegate and New Hampshire lawmaker was defending his call for Clinton to be executed by firing squad.

"Hillary" was reportedly the most-used word during Tuesday night's speeches, and the crowd on the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena erupted in chants of "lock her up" for the second night in a row. The slogan dovetailed with themes in keynote addresses by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the candidate's son Donald Trump, Jr., who claimed that if elected president, Clinton would "issue executive orders to take away Americans' guns."

Earlier this year, Christie pledged to "beat her rear end" on the debate stage and Sen. Ted Cruz called for voters to administer "a spanking" to Clinton — but recent remarks by her adversaries have taken on an even darker tone.

In the past days, certain political figures have insisted that Clinton committed treason and they even go so far as to say she should be executed. Here are examples from the last week of how verbal attacks on the former secretary of state have taken a violent turn:

Al Baldasaro, New Hampshire state representative and Trump veterans issues adviser

Baldasaro, a Trump delegate from the Granite State who has appeared on the campaign trail with the candidate, made waves on the Jeff Kuhner Show when he said that Clinton is "a piece of garbage" who should be "shot for treason."

"She is a disgrace for the lies that she told those mothers about their children that got killed over there in Benghazi," Baldasaro said. "She dropped the ball on over 400 emails requesting back up security. Something's wrong there. I wish they made the documents public on why Anderson was there, Ambassador Anderson. Because in my mind, I want to think where they moving guns, were they doing something there? How did they even know he was there? This whole thing disgusts me, Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason."

Buzzfeed News captured the audio of his comments.

Baldasaro has appeared on stage with Trump in the past and has introduced the presidential nominee several times.

He told NBC News Wednesday that he stood by the comment. "I stand by it because treason is treason. When you take information on a server, that's a non classified server, classified info, and you've got names of American CIA, Secret Service, ambassadors or whatever and you're sharing that out there, you're giving the enemy information," Baldasaro said.

"As far as I'm concerned, the laws of the land on treason could be a firing squad if she's found guilty," he added.

Michael Folk, West Virginia lawmaker

Folk, a United Airlines pilot and a Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, caused controversy with a tweet calling for Clinton to be publicly executed.

On July 16, Folk wrote that Clinton "should be tried for treason, murder, and crimes against the US Constitution... then hung on the Mall in Washington, DC."

His tweet, which has since been deleted, prompted United Airlines to suspend and investigate him. United Continental Holding Inc. tweeted Sunday that the company is "appalled by his threatening comments" and wrote that his tweet is not representative of it.

More controversy ensued in the House of Delegates when Folk's fellow West Virginia lawmakers advocated for him.

Michael Ihle, another member of the state's House of Delegates, tweeted that he stood with Folk.

Pat McGeehan, another colleague, tweeted that Folk's sentiment was on the "minds of millions."