Missouri Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal is under fire for a comment that she made on Facebook. The comment was in response to another Facebook user on Wednesday. It read, “I hope Trump is assassinated.”
Chappelle-Nadal, a registered Democrat, represents District 14 in the Missouri Senate. She earned a degree in political science and sociology from Georgia State University. She was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2004 and was re-elected in 2006 and 2008. In 2010, she ran for state senate and was elected. She was re-elected in 2014.
She is 43 years old.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Chappelle-Nadal Has Apologized for Her Post
Initially, Chappelle-Nadal refused to apologize for her comments. While she admitted that her comment was a “mistake,” she said that she wouldn’t apologize until President Trump apologized.
“When the president apologizes for calling women the things that he does, I will apologize. When he apologizes for all of the statements he’s said on behalf of white supremacists and the KKK and neo-Nazis; when he apologizes, I’ll apologize. But I’m owning up to my mistake, which is something this president is unwilling to do.”
However, Chappelle-Nadal had a change of heart and decided to apologize after all.
“I’ve been thinking about this for a very long time about our president and what he’s been doing to people. I posted something on my personal Facebook and I should not have done that, and for that I am sorry for that. But I am not going to shy away from what caused that anger at all, I’m not going to shy away from that,” Chappelle-Nadal told KMOV.
2. Chappelle-Nadal Is Being Investigated by the Secret Service
Not long after Chappelle-Nadal’s Facebook comments were made — and deleted — the secret service launched an investigation.
“The St. Louis Field Office of the Secret Service is looking into the comments. The Secret Service investigates all threats against the President, Vice President, and other protectees, whether they be direct, implied or comments in passing,” Secret Service spokesperson Cathy Milhoan told CNN in a statement.
3. The Governor of Missouri Has Called for Her Resignation
The Governor of Missouri, Eric Greitens, who is a Republican, posted a series of tweets about Chappelle-Nadal, calling for her resignation.
“Senator Chappelle-Nadal said she hopes the President is killed. Republicans and Democrats have called on her to resign. Her response: ‘Hell no.’ Last night, in an interview, she refused to apologize—twice. If she will not resign, the Senate can vote to remove her. I believe they should,” he said on Friday.
According to St. Louis Today, several of Missouri’s top Democrats have also called for Chappelle-Nadal to resign.
“I condemn it. It’s outrageous. And she should resign,” said U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill.
“[Calling] for the assassination of the President is a federal crime. … [She is] an embarrassment to our state. She should resign immediately,” said U.S. Representative William Lacy Clay.
“State Senator Chappelle-Nadal’s comments are indefensible. All sides need to agree that there is no room for suggestions of political violence in America — and the Missouri Democratic Party will absolutely not tolerate calls for the assassination of the President. I believe she should resign,” Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber.
“[She] should be ashamed of herself for adding her voice to this toxic environment,” said Missouri Senate Democratic Caucus leader Senator Gina Walsh.
On Thursday, Chappell-Nadal has said that she is not resigning.
“I am not resigning. When POC are respected by this WH & they are willing to do real work, I’ll sit down with them. People are traumatized,” she tweeted.
4. Chappelle-Nadal Is Known for Filibustering Bills
Chappelle-Nadal has been known to debate proposed pieces of legislation since taking office. Back in March 2016, she was part of a group that filibustered Senate Joint Resolution 39, also referred to as a “religious freedom” bill, according to CNN. The bill was opposed by several Democratic lawmakers who felt as though it “discriminated against same-sex couples.”
At the time, Chappelle-Nadal gained praise for her stance on the matter.
The following month, NPR reported that the bill was dead, at least temporarily, which was a win for Chappelle-Nadal and other opposers.
Earlier that same month, Chappelle-Nadal was back at it, opposing a sales tax bill. The plan “would allow unincorporated areas of St. Louis County to vote on a sales tax to fund law enforcement,” according to the Kansas City Star. Chappelle-Nadal made headlines after she read an excerpt from rapper 50 Cent’s book, The 50th Law. In this case, Chappelle-Nadal’s voice was heard and the proposal was shelved.
5. Chappelle-Nadal Was Tear-Gassed During the Ferguson Unrest
Chappelle-Nadal was very outspoken during the Ferguson unrest. Following the death of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by police, Chappelle-Nadal was adamant about being heard.
At one point, she was tear-gassed during protests. In October, she said that gun shots were “fired in [her] direction.”
In addition, Chappelle-Nadal came under fire for some of her tweets at the time. You can read them below.
“Anyone who is from outside my district thinking they can just come in and be the savior to Ferguson and not have a conversation with me,” she said.
“People who are outside the 14th District and they have a resolution and they never call, that’s very disrespectful,” Chappelle-Nadal added.