WASHINGTON ― Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) claimed that people who commit mass shootings are often Democrats during a Wednesday discussion about the Florida school shooting.
The first-term Republican congresswoman made the comment after criticizing the government for failing to act on several tips that might have prevented the deaths of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week.
“It’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats. But the media doesn’t talk about that either,” Tenney told WGDJ Talk1300 radio.
Although law enforcement officials said there were “no known ties” between Nikolas Cruz and a particular white supremacist group, the 19-year-old suspected Florida shooter repeatedly expressed racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic views in private group chats, CNN reports.
A spokeswoman for Tenney did not immediately return a request for comment on or evidence to back up the congresswoman’s claim about the political affiliations of mass shooters.
The fact-checking site Snopes found that an online list purporting to show that assassins are more likely to be Democrats was, in fact, wildly flawed: Among other errors, it simply ignored any mass shooting known to be committed by someone with Republican or conservative views, and it identified shooters who were not Democrats as Democrats.
In the interview on Wednesday, Tenney also lamented that legal gun owners might face restrictions after mass shootings.
“I think that’s what scares me most is, a lot of these legal gun areas are going to be targeted now,” she said. “In their demographic, they have the least amount of crime than virtually any other demographic.”
Tenney herself is a top-tier target of the Democratic Party in the 2018 midterm elections. She was criticized last week after she deplored the focus on domestic violence allegations against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned after one of his ex-wives released photos of a black eye.
“I’m not saying he’s innocent, but I’m saying we don’t know,” Tenney said. “He could be the worst guy in the world, but now we’re getting into prosecution as far as I know. I guess there was an issue about, maybe the FBI knew about it, but really, is this what we’re talking about at this point?”