The chairman of Donald Trump's campaign in Virginia is causing controversy with a Facebook post from this weekend.
Corey Stewart, who is also the chairman of the Prince William Board of Supervisors and plans to run for Virginia governor in 2017, posted his response to an NBC News article about Trump supporters who were attacked at a campaign rally in San Jose, California. Some Trump supporters were punched and spat on. One woman had water bottles and eggs thrown at her.
In his response, Stewart said, "When I am governor, thugs like these will be apprehended" and that if the attackers were illegal they should be kicked out of the country.
He didn't back down in an interview with News4's David Culver.
“The people who attacked those Trump supporters need to be punished, they need to be identified and to the extent that any of them are illegal immigrants they need to be removed from the country," Stewart said.
"We are turning a blind eye to illegal immigrants who are committing crimes in this country and who are being released by the federal government instead of being deported," Stewart said.
“They’re coming into our communities, they’re raping, they’re killing they’re assaulting, they’re committing crimes, they’re being apprehended and released by the federal government,” Stewart said.
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The Facebook post had been shared almost 70 times and generated about 50 comments. In it, Stewart says, "Time to put our foot down. These hoodlums attacked Trump supporters because they don't like our views. These Trump supporters could have been you or your family."
State Sen. Scott Surovell, a Democrat, responded: “Chairman Stewart’s comments, I think, are really irresponsible.”
Surovell said he represents more than 100,000 PWC residents. Of the immigrants whom he represents, he said, "they’re good, law-abiding people."