With his Kew Gardens office still closed after a white powder incident yesterday afternoon, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn/Queens) blasted Sarah Palin for sending out a Tweet that he says could be interpreted as a call for violence. The vocal health care reform supporter says the former Alaskan Governor and Republican Vice Presidential candidate shouldn't have sent out a message reading: "Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!"
"When Sarah Palin uses gun analogies and gun imagery when she makes her political point, she may believe that she's engaging in metaphor. But there are too many people who have twisted minds who might think that she's being literal," Weiner told CBS. "What might seem as an obvious metaphor for some people may seem like an invitation for someone else." Weiner wasn't in his Kew Gardens office when the letter arrived yesterday—he was still in Washington following the health care reform vote. Nine of his staffers were isolated and decontaminated after coming into contact with the powder, which investigators have determined was not harmful.
"To some degree salty language and intense emotions are part of the job that go along with being a politician but the idea that my staff got dragged into that and had this experience was troubling to me," Weiner said. According to the Post, the letter was "handwritten in block letters and made a threat related to Weiner's vote" on health care reform. The Daily News reports the powder came in an envelope with a Sheepshead Bay return address, and urged the Congresman: "Sniff this and you'll see."
The FBI is investigating nearly a dozen threats against members of the House across the country, including several instances in New York state. Someone called Bronx Rep. Eliot Engel and threatened to "punch" him, and a perp threw a brick through Rep. Louise Slaughter's Rochester office—an act of vandalism she described as "shocking." Long Island Rep. Steve Israel and Manhattan Rep. Carolyn Maloney has also received threats.