Hard on the heels of new concerns about a possible link between insulting political rhetoric and violence, Donald Trump Jr. called Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana a “piece of garbage” at a campaign rally Friday night.
Tester is in a tight race against GOP challenger Matt Rosendale. President Donald Trump is making multiple trips to the state to stump for the Republican candidate.
Trump Jr. attacked Tester for challenging the nomination of Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson to become the secretary of Veterans Affairs earlier this year. It wasn’t immediately clear why that would be an important issue to Montana voters.
Tester, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, led the opposition against Jackson, though there were bipartisan concerns about Jackson. Alarms were even raised about Jackson’s behavior by Vice President Mike Pence’s doctor, CNN reported at the time.
Trump Jr. slammed Tester Friday for trying to “go after and … assassinate with no proof, no basis, no nothing, a good man simply because my father wanted to elevate him and put him in charge of an organization,” The Hill reported.
He asked: “Where’s the accountability to Jon Tester who did that? That makes you a piece of garbage in my mind.”
Jackson, Trump’s White House physician who notably gushed about the president’s excellent health after a check up early this year, was accused anonymously by a group of current and former White House medical staff of creating a hostile work environment, including drinking on the job, and improperly dispensing medication to White House staffers.
Trump Jr.’s insulting name-calling comes amid concerns that harsh language in politics could inspire some to violence. Suspected bomber Cesar Sayoc was arrested Friday by FBI officials who believe he mailed bombs to 14 Democratic politicians and other targets who have been harshly attacked by the president. The van in which Sayoc was living was plastered with photos of the president and images of his critics in crosshairs.