Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), the same man who said disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok deserved a Purple Heart when Strzok testified before Congress, said he was joking last month when he stated he wished Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) would jump off a bridge.
Audio of Cohen making the remarks while speaking to a group of pastors at a prayer breakfast was retrieved by HuffPost; it showed Cohen discussing the 2018 U.S. Senate race in Tennessee, in which Blackburn is running against former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D).
As Blackburn is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, who has publicly endorsed her, Cohen mocked her for being obsequious, asserting, "The big orange president … He’s going to come down here and he's going to endorse Marsha Blackburn, because Marsha Blackburn, if he says, ‘Jump off the Harahan Bridge,’ she’ll jump off the Harahan Bridge. I wish he’d say that."
As the audience laughed, Cohen added, "She will do anything he says.”
Cohen later reassured HuffPost that he was joking and did not wish Blackburn any ill, stating, "It was obviously humor. I wish her no harm. I hope she doesn’t get the Senate. And I wish she wasn’t a lackey for Trump. But I don’t wish her physical harm."
As The Tennessean reported, State GOP chairman Scott Golden responded, "At a time when our country is combating a mental health crisis, it's shocking and, frankly, sickening to hear a Democratic congressman actively wishing for a Republican congressman's suicide. The fact that these shameful and violent remarks came at a prayer breakfast make them that much more disappointing.”