GOP Rep. Doug Collins abruptly apologizes for saying Democrats 'love' terrorists — after refusing to back down on Fox News

GOP Rep. Doug Collins abruptly apologizes for saying Democrats 'love' terrorists — after refusing to back down on Fox News
Rep. Doug Collins "Fox & Friends" Screengrab

After a U.S. drone strike killed Iranian military commander Qassim Suleimani, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia smeared Democratic critics of the operation as being “in love with terrorists” on Wednesday. By Friday, the GOP congressman was apologizing for his remark, though only a few hours before he went on Fox News and vigorously defending it.

During his Friday Fox News appearance, Collins said of Democrats, “Do all of them love terrorists? No. I think the issue that we have here, though, is that they won’t acknowledge that (Suleimani) was a terrorist. They won’t acknowledge that this was a good thing for the world for Suleimani to be taken out. And from my perspective, that needs to be called out.”

Collins continued, “If they would start calling him a terrorist and stop saying that our president assassinated him — that’s accusing our president of a crime…. Our president took out a terrorist, and the world is a better place for it.”

In a Twitter thread, just a few hours after his Friday Fox News appearance, Collins abruptly had a more apologetic tone. The congressman tweeted, “Let me be clear: I do not believe Democrats are in love with terrorists, and I apologize for what I said earlier this week.”

Collins continued “As someone who served in Iraq in 2008, I witnessed firsthand the brutal death of countless soldiers who were torn to shreds by this vicious terrorist. Soleimani was nothing less than an evil mastermind who viciously killed and wounded thousands of Americans.”

The congressman went on to write, “These images will live with me for the rest of my life, but that does not excuse my response on Wednesday evening.”

But Eric Hananoki of Media Matters pointed out that, in addition to refusing to back down on TV, Collins explicitly sent a fundraising e-mail from Collins less than an hour before his apology tweet with the subject line: “I Will Not Apologize.”

Hananoki explained, “From Collins' fundraising page, which is still active: ‘I’m sick and tired of liberals who are upset about killing Iran's #1 terrorist. President Trump acted to secure our nation, and we should not be ashamed or apologize for putting America first.’”

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