Rep. Peter Meijer slams 'treacherous snakes' for 'salivating for civil war'

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Meijer appeared to blast some Trump conservatives as "treacherous snakes" in his Memorial Day observances on social media as the military veteran slammed those "salivating for civil war."

Meijer, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq as a non-commissioned officer and was a conflict analyst in Afghanistan, issued a three-tweet barrage Monday about the holiday. It included his  "struggle with Memorial Day" due to "brow-beatings from the holier-than-thous."

But the 33-year-old congressman from Grand Rapids Township also acknowledged the sacrifices of veterans for whom Memorial Day holiday was created 50 years ago. 

U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Grand Rapids Township, used a Memorial Day observance on social media to criticize "treacherous snakes" who are "salivating for civil war."

"Memories + knowledge that for too many it’s a reminder of a father, mother, wife, husband, son, daughter gone. Our shared obligation to make this nation worthy of their sacrifice," Meijer tweeted.

"And then there are those who take this sacrifice for granted, waxing patriotic while salivating for civil war," he continued. "Claiming they need to destroy the Republic in order to save it in the ultimate betrayal of oaths sworn. Those treacherous snakes can go straight to hell."

Meijer’s tweet appears to take aim at supporters of former President Donald Trump who have publicly flirted with seceding from the United States. 

One of them includes Michigan Republican Party co-chair Meshawn Maddock, who suggested Michigan leave the Union in a May 14 post to her Facebook page showing a photo of herself with Nigel Farage, the Brexit Party leader who persuaded Britain to leave the European Union in early 2020. Maddock wrote: “Maybe it’s time for a #MIexit.” She added that Americans “tried it once before! Time to end our Governor’s tyrannical rule. #NigelFarage”

Meijer and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, have been the target of Trump conservatives since they voted to impeach the former president in January. They were among 10 House Republicans who impeached Trump.

Upton and Meijer's votes have prompted censure votes by county Republican parties, but a committee of the Michigan Republican Party voted against censuring the two congressmen in late April. 

Upton and Meijer last week unsuccessfully tried to convince Republican senators to back the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. They argued that rejecting such a commission would be bad for the party and hopes of healing the GOP’s divisions over the 2020 election.

Meijer argued that rejecting the commission won’t help people reconcile fact from fiction about what happened Jan. 6, when police clashed with hundreds of Trump supporters who breached the Capitol building in an effort to halt the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory. 

"Where we're at right now is we have half of our Republicans believing Donald Trump won on Nov. 3 — it was stolen and, ergo, an assault on the Capital has some justification. The other half are horrified and believe there's no justification for what occurred because Joe Biden won," Meijer told The Detroit News.

U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer hands a gift card to a member of the Michigan National Guard across the street from the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

He serves the Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs committees.

Meijer ended his tweets with this observation: "Today & always, remember the fallen and those who loved them. Remember what it was they sacrificed for. And remember the need to protect it from the greedy delusions of craven demagogues who’d burn it all down if it meant more power or profit for them."

bwilliams@detroitnews.com