Jul 20, 2016 3:05 PM
NH1 News Political Director
CLEVELAND – Controversial comments from one of Donald Trump’s top advisers in New Hampshire are going viral.
And the adviser, state Rep. Al Baldasaro of Londonderry, told NH1 News on Wednesday that he standing by what he said.
Baldasaro, a Donald Trump delegate at the Republican National Convention and a co-chair of the GOP nominee’s veterans coalition, said Tuesday on “The Kuhner Report” on Boston radio station WRKO that “Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”
“I’m a veteran that went to Desert Shield, Desert Storm. I’m also a father who sent a son to war, to Iraq, as a Marine Corps helicopter avionics technician. Hillary Clinton to me is the Jane Fonda of the Vietnam,” Baldasaro continued. “She is a disgrace for the lies that she told those mothers about their children that got killed over there in Benghazi. She dropped the ball on over 400 emails requesting back up security. Something’s wrong there.”
Baldasaro was referring to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans dead.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Secret Service is aware of this matter and will conduct the appropriate investigation, according to multiple sources.
The former Marine, who has a reputation for being outspoken, talked with NH1 News Wednesday outside media row, at the convention.
“I’m a veteran. And any other veteran that had a server of classified information, people’s names and things like that, you’re putting other veterans life in danger, and state department workers, special forces, CIA or whatever, in danger. That’s treason. My military mind believes it’s treason,” Baldasaro said.
“Once you’re found guilty, normally it’s a firing squad. You know that was just my opinion, I mean, as a veteran,” he added.
Asked by NH1 News if he was speaking as an adviser to Trump or as a private citizen, Baldasaro said it was “me personally as a veteran, how I feel because I know right now, I know many other veterans in the military because of one document were kicked out or lost their clearances. And I can’t believe that anyone else was above the law. And it’s disgrace in my book. It’s totally wrong. She’s not above the law. She deserves to be held accountable. But yet because she’s a Clinton, they turn their back and it’s a disgrace.”
“I was a veteran long before I was a Republican and I stand by what I said and I’m not changing my views,” he added.
Trump campaign reacts
Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks told NH1 News that Baldasaro “doesn’t speak for the campaign.”
“We’re incredibly grateful for his support, but we don’t agree with his comments.”
Jennifer Horn, chair of the New Hampshire GOP, told NH1 News "it’s never appropriate to call for violence when we’re talking about politics. It’s completely unacceptable and I would urge Rep. Baldasaro to apologize for his statement and rescind it immediately."
Clinton campaign Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri put out a statement on Baldasaro's comments.
“Donald Trump's overtaking of the Republican party – and his constant escalation of outrageous rhetoric – is in danger of mainstreaming the kind of hatred that has long been relegated to the fringes of American politics where it belongs. This week at the Republican convention, we've seen the clearest embodiment yet of this dangerous phenomenon," she wrote.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party quickly reacted to the comments.
"Al Baldasaro's comments that Secretary Clinton should be 'put in the firing line and shot' are disgusting, offensive and frighteningly commonplace in the party of Trump," NHDP Chairman Ray Buckley said in a statement. "By repeatedly praising someone like Al Baldasaro in the past, Donald Trump has lifted up the worst of the New Hampshire Republican Party and shown exactly what kind of company he intends to keep as President.”
Earlier this month FBI Director James Comey recommended that the government not prosecute Clinton over her use of a private server and email address, saying there was no evidence that she knew that anything she was doing was against the law or had lied to federal investigators. But Comey said that Clinton had been "extremely careless" and raised questions about her judgement.
Baldasaro getting national attention
“Baldasaro’s well known at the State House for being blunt, a style that he brought to his campaigning for Trump the past year.
Baldasaro made national news two months ago when he stood behind Trump at a news conference at Trump Tower in New York City, where the candidate pushed back against reporters’ questions regarding money Trump said he raised for veterans.
At one point Trump stepped aside and let Baldasaro speak.
Baldasaro targeted reporters, saying “I think the liberal media, you need to get your head out of your butt and focus on the real issue.”
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