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Mo. senator who hoped for Trump assassination in Facebook post apologizes

FERGUSON, Mo. — A Missouri lawmaker who temporarily posted a Facebook comment expressing hope that President Donald Trump would be assassinated is apologizing to Trump and his family, but the Democrat says she has no plans to resign over what she called “a mistake.”

Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal speaks on the Senate floor in Jefferson City, Mo. Chappelle-Nadal says she posted and then deleted a comment on Facebook that said she hoped for President Donald Trump’s assassination. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File

Numerous top Republicans and Democrats in Missouri have called upon Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal to step down after she wrote “I hope Trump is assassinated!” on her personal Facebook page Thursday. She later deleted the post.

The post drew a swift rebuke, including calls from top Democrats for her resignation.

Among them were Missouri Senate Democratic Leader Gina Walsh, who condemned Chappelle-Nadal’s post as “horrible.” The chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, Stephen Webber, said the comments were “indefensible” and the party “will absolutely not tolerate calls for the assassination of the president.”

“I condemn it. It’s outrageous,” added Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, the state’s senior senator. “And she should resign.”

Missouri’s Republican Gov. Eric Greitens and the state Republican party also called for her resignation, but Chappelle-Nadal said she had no intention of doing so.

“I refuse to resign for exercising my First Amendment rights, even though what I said was wrong,” she said.

The U.S. Secret Service released a statement saying it looks into all threats against the president, “whether they be direct, implied, or comments in passing.”

Her apology came at a news conference Sunday in Ferguson. She asked media outlets to not publish the location beforehand because she’d received death threats since the post.

She apologized to Missouri residents and her Statehouse colleagues, too. She says she’ll continue fighting for “issues that are really, really important to me.”