Lawmaker says Clinton execution comment was 'hyperbole'

AP News
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Posted: Jul 17, 2016 7:06 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia Republican lawmaker said Sunday his comments made on Twitter calling for Democrat Hillary Clinton's public execution weren't meant to be taken literally.

House of Delegates member Mike Folk said that his tweet Friday over Clinton's use of a private email system while she served as secretary of state was "hyperbole."

In the tweet, Folk said the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee "should be tried for treason, murder, and crimes against the US Constitution... then hung on the Mall in Washington, DC."

Folk said in a telephone interview he still wants Clinton to go on trial, but he doesn't want her executed.

"It could have been said a little bit better," Folk said. "I regret the tone, and the second part of that tweet.

"The biggest misconception is that for some reason, everybody thinks I made a death threat, which I did not. Clearly it was not that."

The Justice Department announced earlier this month Clinton would not be prosecuted over her handling of classified information.

Folk said he sent the tweet after watching a video of testimony before a U.S. House committee over the Clinton emails.

"I watch something like that that gets me riled up, I usually just sleep on it and maybe do something the next day," he said. "I should have done that."

The state Democratic Party has called for his resignation. Folk said he won't resign.

Folk is a United Airlines pilot. United Airlines said in a statement Sunday that Folk has been removed from his schedule and is not flying pending an investigation. Folk declined comment on whether he's spoken with the company, saying it was a private matter.

Folk also said he hasn't directly talked with the state GOP about it.

Folk, who said he's received death threats over the comments, is seeking a third term in the House. The Martinsburg resident ran unopposed in the May Republican primary and will face Democrat and Berkeley County Sheriff Kenny Lemaster in November.