Critics erupted Thursday when Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) responded to a bomb threat at the U.S. Capitol by saying he “understands” citizen anger over “socialism.”

The startling remark was part of a statement Books issued after police took Floyd Ray Roseberry of North Carolina into custody after he allegedly threatened to detonate an explosive device in his truck, which was parked outside the Library of Congress. The threat forced people in several nearby buildings and homes to evacuate.

Roseberry had previously slammed President Joe Biden and called for a “revolution” on social media.

Brooks said of the terrifying situation: “Although this terrorist’s motivation is not yet publicly known … generally speaking, I understand citizenry anger directed at dictatorial Socialism and its threat to liberty, freedom and the very fabric of American society.”

Presumably, Brooks was baselessly characterizing the U.S. as a socialist nation.

The lawmaker also barely condemned the violent plot, describing it only as sad and too common.

“Sadly, violence and threats of violence targeting America’s political institutions are far too common,” Brooks wrote before he urged “patriotic Americas” to “fight back” by voting.

My statement on the Capitol bomb threat:

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) August 19, 2021

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) blasted Brooks’ statement on Twitter as “evil.” He said in a follow-up tweet that the Republican Party has to decide between “stoking sympathy for domestic terrorists” or taking “a stand for truth.”

The Republican lawmaker added: “I’ve made my decision, and so has Mo.”

The GOP has a decision to make. Are we going to be the party that keeps stoking sympathy for domestic terrorists and pushes out truth, or finally take a stand for truth. I’ve made my decision, so has Mo. Now it’s up to GOP conference leadership to make theirs.

— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) August 19, 2021

“It is astonishing that this needs to be said,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) angrily tweeted, “but no one who serves in Congress should be expressing public sympathy with the views of a terrorist who threatened to blow up the U.S. Capitol.”

It is astonishing that this needs to be said but no one who serves in Congress should be expressing public sympathy with the views of a terrorist who threatened to blow up the U.S. Capitol. I would have thought we could all at least agree on that.

— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) August 19, 2021

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said sarcastically of Brooks’ tweet: “Tell us you stand with the terrorist without telling us you stand with the terrorist.”

He added in another tweet: “What bothers so many of my House Democratic colleagues about this tweet is that we know if Rep. Mo Brooks wasn’t in Congress on January 6 he would have been on the other side of the chamber with the violent mob.”

What bothers so many of my @HouseDemocrats’ colleagues about this tweet is that we know if @RepMoBrooks wasn’t in Congress on January 6 he would have been on the other side of the chamber with the violent mob.

— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) August 19, 2021

Swalwell filed a lawsuit earlier this year accusing Brooks — along with former President Donald Trump and Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani — of “inciting an attack against the Capitol that terrorized lawmakers and prevented us from certifying the votes of the American people” on Jan. 6. The Department of Justice has stated it will not defend Brooks against the suit.

Brooks — who was wearing body armor on Jan. 6 after being warned that there could be violence that day — nevertheless urged Trump supporters in a speech to start “kicking ass.” He told the crowd that their “ancestors” sacrificed their “blood” and even “lives” and asked if they were “willing to do the same.”

The Alabama Democratic Party pointed out that Brooks had once quoted Adolf Hitler on the floor of the House.

Mo Brooks quoted Hitler and compared Democrats to Nazis. On January 6th, he told the crowd who later stormed the Capitol to “kick ass and take names.” Today, Brooks assumed the person threatening the US Capitol with a bomb was on his side saying he “understand(s)” the anger.

— Alabama Democrats (@aldemocrats) August 19, 2021

There was plenty more:

Mo Brooks should be in a prison cell for his role in the Jan 6th insurrection.Now he’s sympathizing with a man who wanted to bomb Congress today.

— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) August 19, 2021

We're not going to post his statement, but Mo Brooks just sympathized with the domestic terrorist threatening to bomb the Capitol today and implicitly encouraged other attacks.

— (@MeidasTouch) August 19, 2021

You are inciting violence and I have reported you.

— Henry M. Rosenberg (@DoctorHenryCT) August 19, 2021

My dude, you might use a dictionary to look up Socialism.

— 𝕛𝕚𝕞𝕞𝕪𝕠 (@jimmyotx) August 19, 2021

I'm so old I remember when it would have been considered a career-ending outrage, if not high treason, for a Congressman of either party to make a statement supporting a bomb threat against a federal building, as Rep. Mo Brooks just did.

— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) August 19, 2021

This you? "Brooks also noted how 'our ancestors' sacrificed their 'blood, their sweat, their tears, their fortunes, and sometimes their lives' before asking the audience if they were 'willing to do the same.' "

— Patrick Clarkin, PhD (@Patrick_Clarkin) August 19, 2021

You know, the outrage over his seditious remarks should be eclipsed by the outrage over him getting away with it. Again.We’re totally broken. The reason this happens is because it’s allowed and even encouraged. They’re brazen because they feel invincible.

— Magic🔮 (@Magic14272090) August 19, 2021

You could’ve just said “I like rightwing terrorism“ and left it at that

— Mac 🇵🇸 (@GoodPoliticGuy) August 19, 2021 Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost

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