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Congressman who pulled House fire alarm takes heat for calling Republicans ‘Nazis’

“There was inappropriate use of the term without my consent,” said Rep. Jamaal Bowman.

U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) speaks during a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. Photo by Lev Radin/Shutterstock.
U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) speaks during a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. Photo by Lev Radin/Shutterstock.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) was caught on video pulling a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building on Saturday, leading many to say he was stalling ahead of a crucial vote on whether to pass a stopgap funding bill or to shut down the U.S. government. At the last hour, a temporary bill to continue to fund the government was passed.

As for the other alarming news in question, the congressman’s staff has said it was an honest mistake.

The latter appears to be plentiful, as Bowman has now disavowed talking points his staff circulated that referred to Republicans as “Nazis.”

“I believe Congressman Bowman when he says this [pulling the alarm] was an accident,” the guidance advises would-be defenders to say. “Republicans need to instead focus their energy on the Nazi members of their party before anything else,” it adds.

“I just became aware that in our messaging guidance, there was inappropriate use of the term Nazi without my consent,” Bowman wrote on social media. “I condemn the use of the term Nazi out of its precise definition. It is important to specify the term Nazi to refer to members of the Nazi party and neo-Nazis.”

The conservative writer and commentator Mary Katharine Ham was one of many who mocked Bowman.

“The congressman’s office did not know the use of the term Nazi would set off rhetorical alarms. They thought calling people Nazis was what opened rhetorical doors,” she wrote. “This can all be very confusing.”

“Man, you’re having a rough couple of days,” added Jeremy Redfern, press secretary to Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In March, Bowman referred to commentator Michael Knowles as a “Nazi” twice in a social-media post, one that remained live at press time.

The congressman sought to limit U.S. military aid to Israel in the past. He claimed that “many” Jewish constituents supported the decision.

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