Former Rep. Joe Walsh: "Watch out Obama"
As the Dallas shootings that left five police officers dead unfolded overnight, conservative radio host and former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh posted on Twitter "this is now war" in a tweet that sparked a firestorm across the country online.
"3 Dallas cops dead. 7 wounded," Walsh wrote in a post that has since been deleted. "This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you."
Walsh, who served one term in Congress as a Republican from the northwest suburban 8th Congressional District, later said he wasn't calling for violence.
"I wasn't calling for violence, against Obama or anyone. Obama's words and BLM's deeds have gotten cops killed," another post reads.
His tweets late Thursday drew widespread attention nationally, including from singer John Legend, who replied: "When you believe 'Real America' does not include the President of America, you might be a racist."
Walsh won a 2010 race for Congress to Democrat Melissa Bean but lost his re-election bid to Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth in 2012 in a newly drawn version of the congressional district.
Since, he has flirted with running for Senate and Congress but hasn't gone through with it.
This morning, Walsh told the Daily Herald he stands by "everything I tweeted last night," but he said Twitter locked his account and required him to take it down before he was able to post again.
He said he wants people to march and protest on police officers' behalf, not be violent.
"I'm not stupid enough to encourage anybody to get violent with Barack Obama or anybody else," he said.
Walsh hosts a radio show on AM-560 in Elk Grove Village, whose representatives did not respond to requests for comment. However, Walsh was on the air in his usual slot Friday evening.