Carl Paladino—a Republican running for the GOP nomination to replace retiring New York Republican Representative Chris Jacobs—quickly backtracked after he said Attorney General Merrick Garland should probably be "executed."
Paladino made the remark during an interview with Breitbart News, declaring, in an attack against Democratic President Joe Biden, that Garland is one of "a couple of unelected people who are running our government with an administration of people."
Paladino went on to add that Garland "should be not only impeached he should probably, should be executed, the guy is just lost," referring to him as a "lost soul" who is "trying to get an image and his image, his methodology is just terrible."
You can hear what he said in the audio below.
Paladino also accused Garland of harboring political animus toward former Republican President Donald Trump, saying "people are scratching their heads" over the Department of Justice (DOJ) after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) searched Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on a hunt for classified materials Trump had spirited away from the Oval Office in violation of federal laws and presidential protocol.
Later, when Breitbart Radio host Matthew Boyle looped the conversation back to Paladino's suggestion Garland "should be executed," Paladino attempted to walk back his remark, insisting he had merely been "facetious."
"I'm just being facetious. The man should be removed from office. He shows his incompetence."
"He wants to get his face in front of the people. And in short, he's got some mettle to him, but his choice of issues and his choice of methodology is-is-is very sad."
"And then he wants to take full blame for it, you know he'll-he'll stand there."
Paladino's statements were severely criticized.
Many are of the opinion he openly called for the assassination of a top government official.
Paladino has been endorsed by New York Republican Representative Elise Stefanik—the third-ranking House Republican due to her position as chair of the House Republican Conference. Stafanik was given the position after former House Republican Conference chair Liz Cheney refused to parrot Trump's lies about the 2020 election and condemned him for inciting an attack on the Capitol.
Stefanik and Paladino courted controversy for backing Trump's lies about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.
Paladino also sparked outrage earlier this year after he praised German Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler as "the kind of leader we need today."
Paladino said Hitler—who orchestrated the systematic genocide of more than 11 million people including over six million Jews and millions of Romani, disabled, LGBTQ+ and critics of the Nazi regime—had an innate ability to rouse "the crowds."
In addition to praising Hitler's style, Paladino also shared a Facebook post suggesting the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas were false flags orchestrated by Democrats to "revoke the 2nd amendment and take away guns."
In 2016, Paladino tweeted that then-New York Attorney General Loretta Lynch, a Black woman, should be "lynched."
In the same year he stated he'd like to see former Democratic President Barack Obama die of mad cow disease from sex with British cattle. Paladino also said he wanted Michelle Obama to "return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla."