'We can disagree without being disagreeable’ -- Rep. Elissa Slotkin responds to death threats

Caller used threatening, sexually explicit, and violent language

DETROIT – Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin said she received a violent threat and she’s sounding the alarm about an increasingly volatile election.

Slotkin said she’s seen both Republicans and Democrats targeted this election.

She went public Sunday with a death threat for her and her staff. The caller left a voicemail that contained violent and sexually explicit language and that they would “shoot their way to victory.”

Officers with Capitol and Lansing police traced the call to what Slotkins said was a young person in Ingham County, who wasn’t deemed a credible threat. Despite that, Slotkin said threats have been escalating during this election cycle.

“The pace is really increasing for a lot of folks that I know,” Slotkin said. “Elected officials on both sides of the aisle are having a very different experience this cycle and I think we have to have zero tolerance for threatening behavior.”

She said the threats aren’t only being directed toward women or Democrats and pointed to New York Rep. Tom Reed, who has also received threatening messages and a dead animal at his house.

A former intelligence officer, Slotkin said she recognizes the kind of escalation from her days in the CIA. She said it starts from the top.

“Leadership climate is set from the top and the leadership climate that’s been set from the president on down is this kind of vitriol, this kind of zero-sum politics,” Slotkin said.

But she added she wants Michiganders to push back against rising threats of violence as we get closer to the election.

“We have rules and laws and standards. This is the United States of America. We will not resort to violence and threats," Slotkin said. “I refuse to accept that we are going to be like that. We can disagree without being disagreeable.”

Slotkin is facing off against Republican Paul Junge in the race for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District. The two debated each other on Flashpoint last month ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

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