Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz quickly backpedaled on a very Trumpian stream of tweets about the legality of using tear gas against migrants attempting to penetrate the U.S. border.
“Tear gas across the border against unarmed families is a new low,” he tweeted. “Who gave the order? Did it implement or contravene policy?” Schatz then asked whether the use of tear gas was “consistent with the Conventions on Chemical weapons.”
“Who gave the order? Did it implement or contravene policy,” he asked, following it with another text asking again, in all caps, “WHO GAVE THE ORDER?” Schatz drew criticism, specifically from the Washington Examiner‘s Seth Mandel, and Fox News commentator Stephen Miller.
Schatz immediately deleted the chemical weapons tweet, but did not back down from his views. Instead, he invited others to join him. “Anyone uncomfortable with spraying tear gas on children is welcome to join the coalition of the moral and the sane,” he wrote. “We can argue about other stuff when we’ve got our country back.”
“A basic ground rule of American leadership ought to be to try to hold the children harmless,” Schatz later concluded. “Cruelty is not strength.”