By JIM SALTER, Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Democratic senator who was censured by the Missouri Legislature for a Facebook post that hoped for President Donald Trump’s assassination said Thursday that she stands by her new tweet comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler.
State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal posted a meme on Twitter that shows Trump taking off a shirt. By the time the shirt is off, Hitler’s face is revealed in place of Trump’s.
The meme, which she tweeted Thursday, is a parody of a much-criticized Dove body wash ad that shows a black woman removing her brown shirt to reveal a white woman underneath in a light-colored shirt. Dove apologized for the ad, which many social media users called racist.
Chappelle-Nadal told The Associated Press that she shared the meme because she was upset by Trump’s tweets early Thursday suggesting Puerto Rico must take on more responsibility for its recovery from Hurricane Maria. The senator, who is black and whose mother is from Puerto Rico, said she still has not heard from some of her other relatives on the island.
“So this is very personal to me,” she said.
She insisted that she is “not repeating the mistake I made two months ago” when she wrote on her personal Facebook page, “I hope Trump is assassinated!”
“I still have a First Amendment right, and I still have a family I need to fight for,” Chappelle-Nadal told the AP.
It wasn’t immediately clear Thursday if her tweet of the Trump meme will cause backlash similar to the kind sparked by her August assassination post, which she deleted and apologized for amid calls for her to resign.
The state Senate formally reprimanded her in September in a bipartisan 28-2 vote that also renewed a call for her to resign.
Chappelle-Nadal said she posted her Facebook comment out of frustration over Trump’s response to a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August. The senator from University City was a frequent protester in Ferguson after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, in 2014.
Two Republican state representatives from suburban St. Louis criticized Chappelle-Nadal’s latest social media post in tweets of their own Thursday. Rep. Phil Christofanelli of St. Peters called her post “shameful” and Rep. Jean Evans of Manchester wrote that Chappelle-Nadal “continues her disgusting attacks on our President.”
Gov. Eric Greitens and Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, also Republicans, didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Parson was among the most vocal critics of Chappelle-Nadal after the assassination post.
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