A former member of the US House of Representatives has declared “this is now war” in reaction to the death of five police officers in a shootout at a police brutality protest in Dallas.
Joe Walsh wrote on Twitter: “3 Dallas Cops killed, 7 wounded. This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you”.
Mr Walsh, who served as an Illinois congressman from 2011 to 2013, quickly deleted his tweet.
However, a number of users took a screenshot of his words, which had been retweeted more than 500 times and were still accessible on third-party Twitter services such as Favstar.
A fifth police officer was announced dead in Dallas after snipers opened fire at around 8.45pm local time on Thursday.
Hundreds of people were gathered to protest over fatal police shootings this week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St Paul, Minnesota.
“Is Joe Walsh really that vile? Wow. Didn’t know there could be that much hate mixed with stupidity,” wrote twitter user Jennifer Gunter in reaction to Mr Walsh’s comments.
Mr Walsh, a former politician and conservative radio host, who was also once a representative for the right-wing Tea Party, defended his comments in a new tweet.
“I wasn't calling for violence, against Obama or anyone. Obama's words & BLM's deeds have gotten cops killed. Time for us to defend our cops,” he wrote.
Others highlighted the possible implications of Mr Walsh’s menacing words towards the US president.
“Threatening the President of the U.S. is a class E felony under U.S. Code Title 18, Section 871 #LockHimUp #JoeWalsh,” wrote TV presenter Karamo Brown.
And musician John Legend wrote: “Joe Walsh needs to be arrested for threatening our President.”
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