“Don’t come back,” a North Carolina legislator told President Donald Trump after his widely-criticized summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday.
Rep. Grier Martin, a Raleigh Democrat and Afghanistan veteran in the U.S. Army Reserve, hammered the president in a much-shared Tweet Tuesday.
.@realDonaldTrump, don’t come back. You are not worthy to stand on American soil made free by the sacrifices of men and women better than you.
— Rep. Grier Martin (@GrierMartin) July 17, 2018
The tweet prompted a reaction from those on both the right and the left.
As of noon Tuesday, the viral post had more than 1,800 retweets and 4,500 likes.
“I guess it struck a nerve and resonated with folks,” Martin said.
He explained that he is not currently on active duty and is therefore not precluded by the Uniform Code from making disparaging comments about the Commander in Chief.
“This tweet was not at all in my capacity as a member of the U.S. Army,” he said.
Martin said Trump’s comments were particularly disturbing to “folks of my generation.”
“I came of age at the very end of the Cold War,” he explained. “As a cadet, I was learning Soviet tactics and Soviet weapons.”
He also noted that the vast majority of replies to his tweet expressed agreement, and many also urged Martin to take legislative action. As a state lawmaker, not a member of Congress, there’s little action he can take.
“That says to me that there’s a frustration in the public with both Democrats and Republicans who have condemned the president’s conduct in Finland,” he said, “but have not in the public’s view taken action they believe would be appropriate.”
Reached for comment on the tweet, North Carolina Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse was uncharacteristically low-key.
“It’s over the top, as much of the commentary from the left about the president often is,” Woodhouse responded. “One can disagree with the president without calling for his exile.”
On Twitter, the disagreements, though few, were more vehement.