The Lead

Perry says Jordan had ‘nothing to do with’ death threats against members of Congress, calls them ‘a red herring’

By: - October 20, 2023 2:41 pm

Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Scott Perry, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, speaks with reporters following a closed-door meeting of GOP lawmakers on Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. (Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

After several GOP members of Congress reported receiving death threats when they voted against Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio for Speaker of the House, Rep. Scott Perry (R-1oth District) on Friday said the Ohio Congressman “had nothing to do with them” and that the matter was a “red herring.”

According to a video posted to social media site X (formerly Twitter) by journalist Alejandro Alvarez, and a report in the Wall Street Journal, Perry made the remarks during a gaggle with reporters on Friday morning.

“All of us in Congress receive death threats. I don’t know if that’s a news flash for anybody here,” Perry said. “There are people out in the world that dislike us and threaten us, that’s nothing new. It’s nothing new to any member of Congress. Another red herring.”

Perry continued, “No one in this town seems to mind the pressure campaign from all the lobbyists with special interests in Washington, D.C.,” adding the threats “should be taken seriously. Jim Jordan had nothing to do with them. That’s the point.”

Perry’s office did not reply to a request for comment on Friday.

Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) and Iowa Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks both reported receiving threatening messages. Miller-Meeks, who voted for Jordan on the first ballot but opposed him on the second ballot, said Wednesday in a written statement that she’d received “credible death threats and a barrage of threatening calls.”

Janelle Stelson, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for District 10 to run against Perry, said in an email statement on Friday that Perry had “downplayed death threats to members of Congress. There is no place in politics for this vile form of extremism. I look forward to beating him next November.”

On Friday, Jordan lost a third vote for speaker, and following a closed-door meeting, he failed to garner enough votes from his fellow GOP lawmakers to stay in the race as their nominee.

This article was updated at 3:03 p.m. Oct. 20, 2023 to add that Rep. Jordan was no longer the GOP nominee for speaker.

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Kim Lyons
Kim Lyons

Kim Lyons is a veteran western Pennsylvania journalist who has covered people and trends in politics and business for local and national publications. Follow her on Threads @social_kimly