Rep. Matt Gaetz will press charges against the woman who allegedly hurled a drink cup at him, the Florida congressman said Thursday.
“I am going to press charges ... I think it’s really important to send a message that we as conservatives have a right to our views, just like anybody else has a right to their views,” Gaetz said in an interview on Fox news the night before.
“If there are no consequences, maybe it’s me getting hit with a drink one time, but what if it's a member of my staff? And what if instead of a drink it’s acid, or urine?”
Gaetz tweeted a clip from the interview on Thursday, saying “It’s really important to send a message that we as conservatives have a right to our views — just like anybody else. We’re not backing down.”
A chyron on the lower third of the Fox News screen in the interview clip reads “The Left’s Incivility Reaches New Lows.”
I had a circumstance just a few weeks ago where someone threw a drink at me leaving a town hall meeting. I am going to press charges. It’s really important to send a message that we as conservatives have a right to our views — just like anybody else. We're not backing down. pic.twitter.com/gCk05s9dWK— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) June 27, 2019
Earlier this month, a cup filled with red liquid sailed through the air and hit Gaetz as he left a town hall.
A video of the incident accumulated more than one million views on Twitter.
Hitting Gaetz with the projectile in Pensacola comes as British protesters capture headlines for drenching rightwing political figures — including Brexit leader Nigel Farage — in milkshakes.
Police have charged Amanda Kondrat’yev, 25, with misdemeanor battery, the Pensacola News Journal reported.
Kondrat’yev briefly ran against Gaetz to represent the 1st District in 2016 after the incumbent, Rep. Jeff Miller, retired. She eventually withdrew, according to the News Journal.
Kondrat’yev said she and her family have faced threats to her safety in the wake of her arrest.
“My employers were harassed so much I was put on paid leave for my health and safety,” Kondrat’yev wrote on a GoFundMe page raising money for her legal costs and other expenses.
Kondrat’yev did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Matt Gaetz thinks cups are deadly weapons but guns are cool for school,” Kondrat’yev’s Twitter page reads, an apparent reference to the congressman’s clash earlier this year with the father of a slain student in the Parkland school shooting.
Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone.