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Mo. lawmaker responds to controversy over post where he wrote vandals should be ‘hung from a tall tree’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For the second time in as many weeks -- a Missouri state lawmaker has been asked to step down over Facebook posts.

State Representative Warren Love (R-Osceola) reacted to paint thrown on a confederate monument - saying "this is totally against the law. I hope they are found & hung from a tall tree with a long rope."

“Veterans have been buried there since right after the Civil War, and the Battle Of Wilson`s Creek, they`re Union and Confederate, but this particular monument, basically had red paint thrown on it, so as I drove down there and I seen it, I thought you`ve got be kidding me that someone would go to a National Cemetery and do that,” said Rep. Love over the phone with FOX 4's Melissa Stern.

Vandalism of the Confederate monument was discovered at the Springfield National Cemetery on Wednesday, at a time when heightened security surrounded President Donald Trump`s visit to Springfield to discuss tax policy.

“What I should have said was, and this is where I went wrong, I should have said there is a law against this, and hopefully they will be apprehended, and brought to justice, and prosecuted at the fullest extent of the law,” added Rep. Love.

The lawmaker says he`s a member of both the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and Sons of Confederate Veterans. His son John says he doesn`t agree with how his dad said it, but agrees that the person who vandalized the monument should be punished.

“I know dad is very into his history and the history of our country, and right now the political climate is very heated, the choice of words obviously wasn`t perfect,” John said. “When he sees that, it affects him, and I respect him for that, for being passionate about the history. But, in today`s day and age, when you say something, it`s out there, and you have to deal with the consequences.”

Rep. Love says his comments were blown out of proportion, and that he's aware of people calling for his resignation.

“I`m not planning on resigning, you know, that was a criminal act, that monument desecration was a criminal act, and it needs to have some kind of a repercussion for that act, and I don`t apologize for calling that a criminal act, but the way I went about it, I do apologize,” he said. “That was my blunder, I`m sorry for it, I apologize, and I would like to move forward, and hopefully people will understand what I really meant to say.”

This is the second time in as many weeks that a Missouri state lawmaker has been asked to step down over Facebook posts.

Democratic senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal in mid-August wrote "I hope Trump is assassinated!" on Facebook.

She later took the post down and apologized. She`s also refused to resign, despite pressure from top Missouri Democrats and Republicans.