Montana Becomes Third State Reporting Suspicious Letters Received By GOP Officials
Montana State Capitol
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

At least two GOP legislators in Montana have reported receiving suspicious letters containing white powder, following similar reports from both Kansas and Tennessee, Governor Greg Gianforte said Friday.

Montana House leadership confirmed that two Republicans — Reps. Rhonda Knudsen and Neil Duram — received letters at their homes. Both letters had local return addresses but had been post office markings from Kansas City, NBC Montana reported. Some Republicans in Kansas and Tennessee have speculated the letters could be the result of radical trans activism and an attempt to intimidate lawmakers. 

“These letters mailed to Speaker Pro Tempore Rhonda Knudsen and Rep. Neil Duram containing an unknown substance are a continuation of the threats and hate directed at legislators during the session,” Montana House Speaker Matt Regier said in a statement. “Just as we stood firm during the session, we will not be threatened or distracted now. We are in tumultuous times and House leadership will continue our objective to protect Montanans’ freedom and safety no matter what cowardly threats are directed at us.”

Both of the state representatives who received the letters were unharmed, the Montana Senate GOP said Friday, and the authorities plan to test the substance. Governor Greg Gianforte tweeted on Friday that he had received “disturbing” reports regarding the letters and said his office and the state will provide any resources necessary to aid in the investigation. It’s not clear yet what the letters said, but they were reported as “vague and threatening,” according to NBC Montana.

The news out of Montana follows a string of reports in both Kansas and Tennessee of similar cases. In Kansas, over 100 letters have been reported containing white powder as of last week. These were reportedly sent exclusively to Republicans.

Kansas State Rep. Stephen Owens believes the letters could be a response to one of the nine vetoes the legislature has overridden this year — including one that bans transgender-identifying athletes from competing on sports teams opposite their biological sex. Republicans control both the House and the Senate in the state, but Democrat Laura Kelly has been governor since 2019.

Owens told CNN that the sender was “very deliberate” in trying to get the officials to open the letters, as the one he received had the return address of a church located in his district. 

The letter Owens received begins by saying “Salutations[.] [T]o honor your recent accomplishments I send to you a gift from the exclusive astruc baruch collection[.] [I]t’s important not to choke on your ambition,” according to a photo of the letter Owens shared with the outlet. It was signed, “your secret despirer.”

Late last week, offices at the Tennessee capitol were shut down after several “suspicious” packages were delivered. These letters were similar to those sent to Kansas legislators and were signed “your secret despirer,” The Daily Wire previously reported

“The letters contained obvious threats made by a liberal activist specifically targeting Republicans,” Tennessee House Republicans said, confirming all employees and members were safe. 

After the Tennessee letters were reported, the FBI told The Hill it was probing “a series of suspicious letters sent to a number of public officials.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Montana Becomes Third State Reporting Suspicious Letters Received By GOP Officials