Rand Paul points finger at 80s pop star after receiving suspicious powder
After Rand Paul received a suspicious package containing white powder at his home on Monday, the Kentucky Republican senator pointed the finger at an improbable alleged instigator: the 1980s pop star Richard Marx. “As a repeated target of violence, it is reprehensible that Twitter allows C-list celebrities to encourage violence against me and my family,” Paul said in a statement.
“Just this weekend Richard Marx called for violence against me and now we receive this powder-filled letter.”
After Paul said on Sunday he would not get vaccinated against Covid-19, Marx tweeted that if he ever met the senator’s erstwhile neighbor, who broke Paul’s ribs during a property dispute in 2017, he would “hug him and buy him as many drinks as he can consume”.
Rene Boucher pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress after tackling Paul, allegedly in a squabble over landscaping.
In an outlandish turn of events, Paul linked Marx’s dismissive social media barb to the potentially dangerous package, which according to Fox News contained an image of the senator in a neck brace, wearing a cast, using a crutch and with a gun to his head.
At the bottom of the picture was the caption: “I’ll finish what your neighbor started, you motherfucker.”
Law enforcement agencies including the FBI Louisville office, a local sheriff’s office and Capitol police are investigating. On Tuesday, the Warren county sheriff said the substance in the package appeared not to be toxic.
Marx, meanwhile, has been bombarded by online attacks.
“You know who actually put multiple people’s lives at potential risk?” Marx said on Monday, linking to an article about how Paul attended a lunch meeting and swam at the Senate gym before receiving a Covid-19 diagnosis.
Paul tested positive for the virus in March last year, the first senator known to have been infected.
Now, as the US wrestles with widespread vaccine hesitancy, Paul said last weekend he would not take a vaccine, contradicting guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Until they show me evidence that people who have already had the infection are dying in large numbers or being hospitalized or getting very sick,” Paul said, “I just made my own personal decision that I’m not getting vaccinated because I’ve already had the disease and I have natural immunity.”
For over a year, Anthony Fauci has been a bogeyman for conservatives, who have questioned his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and accused him of quietly undermining then-President Donald Trump. But those attacks took on a whole new level of vitriol this week, to the point that one social media analysis described it as highly misleading and at least one platform pulled down some posts, citing false content. It all stemmed from a tranche of Fauci’s emails that were published as part of a Freedom of Information Act request filed by various news outlets. Within hours of publication, the hashtag #FauciLeaks was trending on Twitter.
Donald Trump has appeared to drop his strongest hint yet at another presidential run in 2024, responding to news of his two-year ban from Facebook on Friday by saying he would not invite Mark Zuckerberg to dinner “next time I’m in the White House”.
Days before the Senate voted down the creation of a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Capitol attack, the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, was adamant: he would oppose the bill, regardless of any amendments – and he expected his colleagues to follow suit. The commission that would have likely found Donald Trump and some Republicans responsible for the insurrection posed an existential threat to the GOP ahead of the midterms, he said, and would complicate efforts to regain the majority in Congress. McConnell’s sharp warning at a closed-door meeting had the desired effect on Friday , when Senate Republicans largely opted to stick with the Senate minority leader.
The US House of Representatives voted on May 19th to create an independent commission to investigate the invasion of the Capitol building on January 6th. Members voted 252 in favor of, and 175 against, the commission, which was inspired in part by a similar body that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Every Democratic member voted in favor of the bill.