Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.) dodged a question about threats against one of his Republican colleagues Wednesday, instead praising the “passion” of activists who oppose Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd asked Coons about mailed coat hangers, threatening voicemails, and other tactics directed towards senators who may vote to confirm Kavanaugh.
“I’ve got to ask you about some of the tactics, about some of these special interest groups,” Todd began. Todd mentioned the “coat hangers sent to Senator Susan Collins’s office, some really nasty voicemails that have been played, you know, the tactics.” After recognizing that “there’s a lot of passion,” Todd asked of the tactics, “What do you make of ’em?”
Coons seized on the general idea of passion and avoided commenting specifically on the threats made against his Senate colleague Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine). “There is a huge amount of passion, as I think the whole country saw,” Coons replied. He noted that passion has been exemplified by the many arrests made during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings and the many calls made by constituents, and he called those actions “well justified.”
It was not clear whether Coons meant to defend the threatening calls, or just the general frenzied effort against Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The Republican National Committee quickly released a clipof the exchange, claiming “Dem Sen Defends ‘Well Justified’ Harassment Of GOP Senators Over Kavanaugh.”