House of Representatives

Rep. Donovan is running for a third term in a seat representing all of Staten Island and a sliver of Brooklyn.

The attempted mail bombings this week of a former president, secretary of state, attorney general and CIA director–all prominent targets of the right wing–were seen as a moment to take stock of the degradation of political discourse of the country.

That sort of self-examination often suffers from amnesia: From the caning of Charles Sumner to the bombing of Wall Street in 1920 to the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., and beyond, the U.S. has a long history of political violence. What is different now is that the president of the United States has hailed those who assault reporters and hewed to false equivalency when confronted with deadly right-wing violence.

When asked on Max & Murphy on Wednesday whether he thought the president bore some responsibility for the climate of political discussion in the U.S., Rep. Dan Donovan of Staten Island cast a wide net of blame:

“I think the tone on both sides of the aisle needs to be tampered down,” he said. “You have Maxine Waters telling people to go accost people in public office at restaurants and go to their homes.”

“I think we have to calm this banter down,” he continued. “It’s heated on both sides of the aisle.”

Donovan never mentioned the president.

But Mr. Trump did come up elsewhere in our conversation about Donovan’s run for re-election against Democrat Max Rose, and in our talk with City Limits reporter Abigail Savitch-Lew, who did extensive on-the-ground reporting in the district.

Listen below. And come to our two-hour, live-audience, Election Day special!