Night falls over the U.S. Capitol.
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Clay Higgins’ congressional career is off to a provocative start

Updated

Louisiana’s Clay Higgins, in his capacity as a local sheriff, appeared in a video last year in which he described several wanted members of a street gang as “animals” and “heathens,” adding, “You will be hunted, you will be trapped, and if you raise a weapon to a man like me, we’ll return fire with superior fire.”

After the video surfaced, Higgins resigned – which cleared the way for his election to Congress, where he’s already making quite an impression.

After a terrorist attack in London last month, the freshman Republican congressman wrote that “the free world” and “all of Christendom” is at war with “Islamic horror.”

And over the holiday weekend, Higgins managed to make headlines for himself once again. The Times-Picayune reported:

Just in time for Independence Day, U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, R-Port Barre, has a video message for America. But instead of visiting constituent cookouts, shooting off fireworks and waving the United States flag, Higgins delivers a stark dispatch from the Nazis’ Auschwitz concentration camp at Oswiecim, Poland.

“A great sense of dread comes over you in this place,” Higgins says, leading the viewer on a five-minute, nine-second tour of the site, with a dirge-like solo violin playing in the background.

[Update: Higgins apologized this afternoon and pulled the video.]

In a video posted online on Saturday, the GOP lawmaker, referencing Auschwitz, said, “This is why homeland security must be squared away, why our military must be invincible. The world’s a smaller place now than it was in World War II. The United States is more accessible to terror like this, horror like this.

“It’s hard to walk away from the gas chambers and ovens without a very sober feeling of commitment – unwavering commitment – to make damn sure that the United States of America is protected from the evils of the world.”

Higgins made the comments while shooting the video himself, selfie-style, including inside a former gas chamber.

As the Associated Press reported, officials at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum were not pleased: “A post on the Auschwitz Memorial’s official Twitter account said Tuesday that a former gas chamber is not a stage but a place where there should be respectful silence. Later Tuesday, it posted a photo of the entrance sign to that building, asking visitors to ‘maintain silence here.’”

Clay Higgins' congressional career is off to a provocative start

Updated