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Ted Nugent Says Kathy Griffin ‘Went Beyond the Pale’ With Beheaded President Trump Photograph

Chip Somodevilla / Rick Diamond / Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla / Rick Diamond / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Ted Nugent is appalled by the violent photo recently posted by TV personality Kathy Griffin as a joke at the expense of President Donald Trump.

Nugent, who’s made headlines for years with his bellicose right-wing statements, has been drawn into the swell of outrage over Griffin’s photo because of his own past comments — including a 2007 stage monologue during which he said then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama could “suck on my machine gun” and referred to the future President’s primary competitor Hillary Clinton as a “worthless b—-” who could “ride one of” his guns “into the sunset.” When the subject came up during his recent appearance on the syndicated Ben Ferguson Show, he unsurprisingly drew a huge line between his and Griffin’s controversies.

“The left and the democrats are so desperate, they’re so gagged by genuflecting at the altar of Saul Alinsky with their lies and their fake news. Their dishonesty is absolutely stunning,” argued Nugent. “To compare what I said, when I identified the egregious crimes of Hillary Clinton, with her scamming foundation and lying to the public and lying to the families of Benghazi, and refusing to provide security to the men and women of Benghazi, after being begged to provide that basic security as the Secretary of State. … I mean, we’re talking apples and grenades here. What Kathy Griffin did was downright vulgar, obscene and a genuine variation of a death threat.”

Nugent, who was investigated by the Secret Service after saying (among other things) that he would “either be dead or in jail by this time next year” if President Obama was re-elected in 2012, has always maintained that his more violent-sounding speech isn’t meant to be taken literally, and he continued to take that stance during his most recent conversation with Ferguson.

“I’ve never threatened anyone. And if anybody’s still trying to believe that I did, maybe they should talk to my buddies at the Secret Service who were forced to investigate me,” he insisted. “Their conclusion, the Secret Service’s conclusion, was that I never made any threat to anyone. But the left doesn’t care about the truth, they don’t care about honesty, they don’t care about the facts. … There’s no comparison whatsoever.”

That point of view is one that isn’t necessarily shared by the members of the Washington press corps who used a recent briefing to repeatedly ask press secretary Sean Spicer why it was okay to host Nugent at the White House after his history of inflammatory comments. Asked to justify the time he said President Obama and Hillary Clinton should be “tried for treason and hung,” Nugent chalked the whole thing up to “the dishonesty of the left and their brainwashed puppets” — who, in his view, “can’t stand” that he’s “one of the reasons Donald Trump is president right now.”

“I’ve never threatened to hang anybody, I’ve never suggested anyone get hung,” said Nugent. “Except the one time, after Benghazi, I recommended that Hillary Clinton be charged, arrested, tried and hung. What she did as Secretary of State was treasonous — and I stand by that.”

However, Nugent did point out that Griffin quickly apologized for her ill-advised attempt at humor, which — even if he still finds her unappealing as a performer and a citizen — counts for something.

“I don’t think much of Kathy Griffin, I think she’s a far leftist, she hates the Constitution, I think she hates law and order, I think she sides with thugs instead of law enforcement. So she’s got a lot of problems of her own,” mused Nugent. “But I think she’s admitted, and I think we can all agree, that she went beyond the pale. There’s never a time you should threaten and poke fun at the beheading of anybody, much less the President.”

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