New York State Sen. John Liu has come under fire after suggesting that the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol is “more frightening” than the Sept. 11 attacks.
The Taiwan-born lawmaker, who represents the 11th District in northeast Queens, made his remark about an hour before the Sergeant-at-Arms announced that the building had been secured from rioters.
“Seeing the Twin Towers crumble is no longer the most frightening moment of my life,” Liu tweeted.
It did not take long before Twitter users accused the Democratic senator of being tone-deaf.
Seeing the Twin Towers crumble is no longer the most frightening moment of my life.
— John C. Liu (@LiuNewYork) January 6, 2021
“Tell that to the families of the dead. There’s something wrong with you,” another user clapped back.
Tell that to the families of the dead. There’s something wrong with you.
— Jeff Weber (@JeffWeber11) January 7, 2021
Succeeding replies blasted Liu for similar and various other reasons. One user argued that he was using the crisis for political gain.
“Whatever you think of what happened yesterday, to compare it to Pearl Harbor & 9/11, tragedies which killed over 5,000 people, is clearly demented and a cynical grifter ploy to milk the chaos for political gain. Anyone doing that is infinitely WORSE than those they decry.”
Whatever you think of what happened yesterday, to compare it to Pearl Harbor & 9/11, tragedies which killed over 5,000 people, is clearly demented and a cynical grifter ploy to milk the chaos for political gain.
Anyone doing that is infinitely WORSE than those they decry.
— Lauren (@Lauren82593728) January 8, 2021
One user also brought up the 54-year-old’s 2013 mayoral campaign finance scandal, which landed one of his aides and one of his top fundraisers in jail for fraud. Liu was never charged for the scheme himself, but the New York Campaign Finance Board voted to deny him more than $3.5 million in funds. He was also fined $26,000 four years later, according to Politico.
“C’mon man. You were this close to being indicted for campaign finance fraud. I imagine that was a bit more harrowing,” the user wrote.
C’mon man. You were this close 🤏 to being indicted for campaign finance fraud. I imagine that was a bit more harrowing.
— Michael S. Mass (@michaelsmass) January 6, 2021
Other users simply found it ridiculous that Liu was less frightened of the 2001 terrorist attack that killed nearly 3,000 people.
“[A] Disgusting and contemptuous thing to say about the deaths of 3,000 civilians,” one wrote.
Disgusting and contemptuous thing to say about the deaths of 3000 civilians
— Parler: @goodghostie (@good_ghostie) January 8, 2021
Trying too hard to make it about yourself
— John Nucero (@j_nucero) January 8, 2021
You felt frightened on 9/11 rather than angry… ?
— President-Elect Finrod.hodl (@EaglesOfManwe) January 8, 2021
I think you’re tweet is the most frighteningly crass statement on social media right now.
— JQ LLC: Good Troublemaker/Impunity City (@jqllc) January 7, 2021
If you saw what kids in iraq see everyday this wouldn’t even be top 10
— Sparky (@Sparkpoodle1) January 8, 2021
After receiving criticisms, Liu characterized his tweet as an “emotional response” and stated that 9/11 was actually the “most horrific” thing he has seen.
“My tweet was an emotional response that failed to provide a fuller context and was not meant in any disrespect, especially to those who died on 9/11 and their families. 9/11 is by far the most horrific and outrageous thing I’ve witnessed,” Liu told the New York Post.
“What happened on that day 20 years ago was by far the most horrific thing I saw in my life and can’t be compared, but watching on TV the American people’s house be attacked — not by terrorists but by other Americans — was frightening.”
Feature Images via New York State Senate (left) and Getty (right)