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Missouri Senate censures senator for Trump Facebook comment

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Missouri Senate voted 28-2 to censure a senator for wishing on Facebook that President Donald Trump would be assassinated.

The senate gave Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D - University City) a written reprimand for the comment made in August, which she later deleted. The resolution, which the senate approved on Wednesday during the annual veto session, keeps the option of expulsion on the table if Chappelle-Nadal does not resign.

Senators Kiki Curls (D - Kansas City) and Jamilah Nasheed (D - St. Louis) voted against the censure.

Chappelle-Nadal faced criticism from many sides of the political spectrum. Both the state Democratic Party and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill said she should resign shortly after the comment was made public on August 17. Lt. Governor Mike Parson, the head of the Missouri Senate, said the senate should kick her out of the chamber.

Because senators could only discuss the governor's vetoes at the session, it could not remove Sen. Chappelle-Nadal. Republican senators attempted to call a special session in order to remove her, but did not get enough of the required three-fourths majority of the chamber to sign on.

Sen. Bill Eigel (R - St. Charles) questioned Chappelle-Nadal on the Senate floor about why she had not resigned yet, despite the calls for her to do so. She responded that there are still those in her district who want her to continue serving.

"I understand that I made a mistake," Chappelle-Nadal said. "I have owned up to it from the very beginning. And I have to continue working to build that trust and do the hard work of the district."

President Pro Tem Ron Richard (R - Joplin) said they may still consider removing Chappelle-Nadal when the regular session starts again in January.

"It's about a comment about the President of the United States," Richard said. "God forbid if I'd have done that, I'm sure I would have been under the same pressures to resign or move on." 

The Missouri House of Representatives briefly took up the issue of a representative making a controversial Facebook comment. Rep. Warren Love (R - Osceola) was criticized for saying those responsible for defacing a Confederate war monument should be "hung from a tall tree with a long rope." Speaker Todd Richardson (R - Poplar Bluff) referred a complaint made by Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty (D - Kansas City) to the House Ethics Committee.

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