Rand Paul blasted Twitter on Tuesday for not immediately taking down Richard Marx’s tweet from Sunday in which he offered to buy drinks for the Kentucky neighbor who assaulted the Republican senator in 2017.
Paul told Fox News that Marx’s tweet may be to blame for a suspicious package that arrived at his door on Monday. The package contained a non-toxic white powder and a doctored image of Paul heavily bandaged with a threat to kill him.
‘You know, hundreds of people on Twitter every day are wishing me violence, wishing my family violence,’ Paul told Fox News on Tuesday.
The Republican senator didn’t mention Marx by name when he referred to a tweet by ‘this songwriter from a long time ago that nobody has ever heard of.’
Marx later tweeted that his offer to buy drinks for Paul’s assailant, Rene Boucher, was a ‘wise-crack.’
Marx, the rock star and 1980s-era hitmaker, tweeted on Sunday: ‘I’ll say it again: If I ever meet Rand Paul’s neighbor I’m going to hug him and buy him as many drinks as he can consume.’
In a subsequent tweet, Marx claimed that he was simply joking, saying it was a ‘wise-crack’ and not ‘incitement to violence.’ A Twitter spokesperson told DailyMail.com that Marx was required to remove the post.
‘The Tweet you referenced was in violation of our glorification of violence policy,’ the spokesperson told DailyMail.com.
‘The account owner is required to remove the Tweet.’
On his Twitter feed on Tuesday, Marx ridiculed Paul’s suggestion that he incited violence against the senator.
He retweeted posts from various Twitter users criticizing Republicans and former President Donald Trump.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Marx seeking comment.
The FBI on Monday launched an investigation into the suspicious package which contained a white powder.
The package which arrived at Paul’s home also contained a doctored image of the Republican who is seen heavily bandaged and walking with the aid of a crutch as a rifle appears aimed at his head.
Senator Rand Paul on Tuesday said a tweet by singer-songwriter Richard Marx was partially to blame for a suspicious package containing white powder and a death threat that he received at his Bowling Green, Kentucky home on Monday
Paul on Monday received a death threat through the mail. The package included a photoshopped image of the Kentucky senator depicting him as a bandaged and unable to walk while a rifle is pointed at his head. ‘I’ll finish what your neighbor started, you motherf**ker,’ the message on the package reads.
‘I’ll finish what your neighbor started, you motherf**ker,’ the message on the package reads.
The Bowling Green Fire Department’s WMD team’s preliminary analysis identified the substance as non-toxic, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.
The unidentified substance and package will undergo further analysis, the sheriff’s office added.
News of the threat was first reported on Monday by Fox News.
The photoshopped image attached to the package was doctored from a photo illustration of Paul that was created by GQ magazine as part of a 2017 feature story on the assault that left the Republican senator badly injured.
Paul hit out at 1980s era hitmaker Richard Marx (seen above in Nashville, Indiana in February 2020) for ‘calling for violence against me’
Marx, the 57-year-old rock star, tweeted on Sunday: ‘I’ll say it again: If I ever meet Rand Paul’s neighbor I’m going to hug him and buy him as many drinks as he can consume.’ The tweet appeared to be a reaction to Paul’s comments indicating that he would not be getting the COVID-19 vaccine because he had already been infected and had ‘natural immunity’. The tweet by Marx has since been deleted because it violated Twitter’s ‘glorification of violence policy’
In a subsequent tweet, Marx claimed that he was simply joking, saying it was a ‘wise-crack’ and not ‘incitement to violence.’
Paul on Tuesday told Fox News that Twitter has failed to crack down on calls for violence against him and other Republicans due to what he believes is the platform’s anti-conservative bias.
He blasted the site for not immediately removing Marx’s post.
‘Twitter claims they have a policy but they don’t take it down. They leave it up,’ Paul said.
‘Twitter now announced today this guy doesn’t violate their policy. So he’s allowed to offer to buy drinks to somebody…you know, I almost died at that time from the infections and from the lung surgery that I had. And they are allowed to get on Twitter….’ Paul said.
The senator said he was ‘tired’ of Twitter not acting against threats to Republicans.
‘This is a private company that hates conservatives, hates Republicans,’ Paul said.
‘They don’t want us on there and ultimately maybe the answer is Republicans need to just quit. We need to leave it.
‘Because every day they allow hundreds if not thousands of people to wish me and my family violence. And frankly, I’m tired of it,’ Paul said.
“I’m just tired of them allowing this and tired of them blaming it on the right.
‘I was at the ball field when a Bernie Sanders shooter almost skilled Steve Scalise…so I’m sick and tired of the violence coming from the left.’
Paul was referring to the June 2017 incident in which James Hodgkinson, 69, of Belleville, Illinois, opened fire at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, wounding Republican leader Scalise and five others.
Hodgkinson, who was fatally shot by police after the shooting, was a supporter of Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont. He even volunteered for Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.
On the Senate floor, Sanders condemned the shooting.
‘I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign,’ the senator said.
‘I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be, violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.
‘Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs counter to our most deeply held American values.’
‘I take these threats immensely seriously,’ Paul wrote in a statement Monday. ‘I have been targeted multiple times now, it is reprehensible that Twitter allows C-list celebrities to advocated for violence against me and my family. This must stop.’
Paul was assaulted by Rene Boucher (left), 60, in November 2017 while he was mowing his lawn outside the front of his home. He was tackled from behind and suffered a six broken ribs in the attack – including three displaced fractures
The November 2017 attack took place as Paul was mowing his front lawn at his home in Bowling Green, Kentucky (above)
Paul slammed Marx’s suggestion on Tuesday that his tweet offering to buy drinks for Boucher was a joke.
‘I had six ribs broken,’ Paul said. ‘Three of them dislocated where they rubbed on each other for weeks and weeks till they healed. They damaged my lung. I had pneumonia twice.’
The senator continued: ‘A year later I was coughing up blood. I had to have a portion of my lung removed, then got an infection between the lung and the chest wall and almost died from and have permanent scarring of my lung and he’s offering a guy to buy drinks to somebody that will do it again and finish the job.
‘That sounds like he’s advocating violence.’
Paul called Marx a ‘despicable human’ and ‘an irrational idiot’ who is ‘angry because I’m not getting vaccinated.’
‘Guess what. In India, there’s not enough vaccines. Do you think we should be debating whether people should be getting the vaccine that have already had the vaccine or save it for those that have not gotten the disease? This is a public health discussion that could save millions of lives,’ he said.
‘This should not be a political issue. They should not want to kill me and send anthrax to my house.’
Paul said he plans to speak to officials at Twitter about the incident.
‘We have 1,000 people on the internet every day on Twitter who wish violence on me and my family and Twitter does not a damn thing about it,’ he said.
‘I’m talking with Twitter this afternoon and I’m going to let them know. We’ve been letting them know for a year,’ he said.
‘We have people every day by the 1,000s, wishing that I would get assaulted again. I was nearly killed and they just think it’s funny.’
‘The powder turned out to be non-lethal or toxic wasn’t a poison, but it is a form of terrorism and they’ll be fully prosecuted if they can find them,’ he said.
In 2017, Paul suffered six broken ribs after one of his neighbors, Boucher, assaulted the senator as he was doing yard work.
Boucher pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress. Last summer he was sentenced to eight months in prison.
‘I take these threats immensely seriously,’ Paul wrote in a statement Monday.
‘I have been targeted multiple times now, it is reprehensible that Twitter allows C-list celebrities to advocated for violence against me and my family. This must stop.
‘Just this weekend Richard Marx called for violence against me and now we receive this despicable powder filled letter.’
Marx on Monday was criticized by former Fox News broadcaster Eric Bolling, who demanded that the FBI investigate the singer.
The musician’s comments about Paul’s neighbor were in response to an interview in which the senator said that he has no plans to get the COVID-19 vaccine because he has already been infected with and recovered from the disease.
‘Until they show me evidence that people who have already had the infection are dying in large numbers or being hospitalized or getting very sick, I just made my own personal decision that I’m not getting vaccinated because I’ve already had the disease and I have natural immunity,’ Paul told WABC-AM radio based in New York City.
The Kentucky senator insisted that Americans should have the freedom to make their own medical decisions without fear of repercussions or shame from the government.
‘In a free country you would think people would honor the idea that each individual would get to make the medical decision,’ he told the Cats Roundtable host John Catsimatidis.
‘Are they also going to tell me I can’t have a cheeseburger for lunch? Are they going to tell me that I have to eat carrots only and cut my calories?’ Paul, an ophthalmologist, questioned.
‘All that would probably be good for me,’ he admitted, ‘but I don’t think big brother ought to tell me to do it.’
Republican Illinois representative Adam Kinzinger immediately excoriated Paul for saying he won’t get the shot.
‘So brave…Such a leader… so manly…’ Kinzinger wrote of Paul.
In March 2020, Paul tested positive for COVID-19 – becoming at the time the first known senator to contract the then-newly emerging disease.
More than a year later, several lawmakers have contracted COVID-19 and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says around three-fourths of the members of Congress have been inoculated.
The CDC released guidance earlier this month that fully vaccinated individuals no longer have to wear masks indoors or outdoors.
Pelosi extended this guidance to the House, where members no longer have to wear face coverings if they received their final vaccine dose at least two weeks prior.
There is also a massive administration-down campaign encouraging the remaining unvaccinated Americans to get the shot after Biden lauded earlier in May that 60 per cent of American adults have received at least one dose.
Vaccine hesitancy is still a major concern – leading to losing restrictions on masks to encourage more people to sign up to get the jab.
In 2019, Paul underwent surgery to remove part of a lung that was damaged during the assault by Boucher. Paul was assaulted while he was mowing the lawn outside the front of his home in Kentucky. Boucher – a retired anesthetist – told Paul in the wake of the attack that he hadn’t been able to sell his $740,000 house for 10 years because the congressman’s trees were ‘in the way’ and he had simply ‘had enough’ of him
The CDC currently advises those who previously contracted coronavirus to still get vaccinated.
‘You should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19,’ the CDC guidance on its website explains. ‘That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.’
‘Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again,’ it continues.
There are also concerns that people could contract a different strain of the virus, which might otherwise be protected if they get vaccinated.
In 2019, Paul underwent surgery to remove part of a lung that was damaged during the assault by Boucher.
Paul was assaulted while he was mowing the lawn outside the front of his home in Kentucky.
The injuries caused a number of complications, including the build-up of fluid and blood around the lungs as well as triggering a nasty bout of pneumonia.
Boucher – a retired anesthetist – told Paul in the wake of the attack that he hadn’t been able to sell his $740,000 house for 10 years because the congressman’s trees were ‘in the way’ and he had simply ‘had enough’ of him.
It’s believed Boucher was referring to woodland at the back of Paul’s property that blocks his views of the picturesque private lake that forms the centerpiece of their upscale gated community.
Boucher’s alleged grievance was relayed to the media by another of Paul’s neighbors, Alicia Stivers, the first person to see the bloodied and dazed lawmaker after the November 3 assault in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Property records confirmed that Boucher had put his house on the market five times over the past decade without success, at one point becoming embroiled in a messy lawsuit when a prospective buyer pulled the plug at the last minute.
A look at boundary maps and overhead photographs showed many of the ‘offending’ trees were on Paul’s land – although one realtor pal told DailyMail.com the Boucher property probably didn’t sell simply because it was overpriced.
The discovery contradicted initial claims that Boucher, a Democrat, had attacked Paul simply as a result of their ideological differences.
Boucher pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of congress in March 2018 and was sentenced to 30 days in federal prison three months later.
Last summer, he was re-sentenced to an additional eight months followed by six months of home confinement after prosecutors argued that the initial punishment was too lenient.
Boucher’s attorney later revealed that his client’s temper had boiled over on the day of the attack because Paul blew some leaves onto his property as he was mowing his.
However, a spokesman for Paul discredited the claim, saying: ‘There was no ‘longstanding dispute.’
In January 2019, the senator was awarded $580,000 in damages by a Kentucky jury.
Of that amount, $375,000 was awarded in punitive damages, $200,000 for pain and suffering, plus an additional $7,834 for medical expenses.