Last Updated on June 9, 2020
Former Virginia Congressman Tom Garrett took to his radio show last weekend to reveal that he has received second hand threats from Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) after he endorsed Riggleman’s primary opponent, believing he was told that should he not support Riggleman, he will be unable to secure work and will be “excommunicated.”
After Garrett endorsed Riggleman’s primary opponent, Bob Good, on his radio program, Garrett claims that a business partner received a call from Riggleman and was given a series of veiled threats that were ostensibly aimed at convincing Garrett to retract his endorsement and endorse Riggleman instead.
“Now if you know me at all,” said Garrett on his Saturday radio show on WCHV-AM, “You know that I don’t respond well to certain things, one of those is bullying, another of those is threats.”
Garrett went on, “I will tell you that it blew my mind that after I said I would support Bob Goode if I were a delegate to the convention, that all of the conversation among the tiny sliver of the universe who will actually be attending the 5th district committee, immediately” began discussing his endorsement. “Folks, I’m not that darn important, but apparently to some people I am.”
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“Then you’ve got two congressional campaigns, who while cities are burning, are discussing the opinion of a radio show host who does the gig for free,” Garrett added.
Garrett went on to explain the particular details of the threat, which he says was relayed to him from a business partner.
“I’m going about my daily life the week after last week’s radio broadcast when a business partner of mine calls me and says that he’s received a phone call from Denver Riggleman,” said Garrett. “I received a phone call from Mr. Riggleman as well but he didn’t choose to leave a voice message.”
“In the call from Denver Riggleman, here’s what I was told,” said Garrett. “Tom really needs to walk back his comments, and here’s why: Number 1, President Trump is really angry at Tom.”
Garrett remained incredulous, saying that he has not heard from President Donald Trump and that the president has his phone number.
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He was also told that Eric Trump is “really angry at Tom,” and said that he did not care, nor did he believe it. Garrett also stressed that he is proud of not having a complete devotion to the president, and will disagree with him when necessary.
“One of the things I’m proudest of during my time in office is that I was willing to disagree when President Trump when I thought he was wrong,” said Garrett.
Garrett also says he was told that Jim Jordan and the Freedom Caucus are upset with him, though he has yet to receive any confirmation from Jordan or other members of the Freedom Caucus, who he still communicates with regularly.
“Secondly, I was told, ‘Jim Jordan of the Freedom Caucus is really upset with Tom,'” said Garrett. “That’s funny, I speak to those guys on a fairly regular basis, I know they have my phone number. I haven’t heard a word from them.”
Garrett then revealed that Riggleman also told his business partner that, unless Garrett retracts, he should not expect to be able to do business in Washington, D.C., and he may be ostracized from Virginia political circles.
“My business partner was then told ‘I’m really concerned that Tom won’t be able to do any business or get any work in Washington,'” said Garrett. “I’m starting to feel like Cornholio from Beavis and Butthead, are you threatening me?”
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“You’re concerned that I won’t be able to get any work in Washington because I have an opinion that’s contrary to what you think is in the best interest of your reelection,” he went on. “Are you threatening me?”
Garrett then reveals that his business partner told him Riggleman said that he would be excommunicated from the Virginia congressional delegation should he refuse to retract his endorsement.
“And finally, I was told, and this is a quote ‘We’re really afraid that they’re going to excommunicate,’ their words not mine, ‘Tom from the Virginia congressional delegation.'” said Garrett.
“Excommunicate away, it just so happens that I know all of the Virginia congressional delegation and I haven’t heard from any of them either.”
Garrett went on to say that he believes there are “vindictive people” working for Riggleman, or “perhaps Mr. Riggleman himself,” who would like to see him punished because he has “an opinion that varies from the opinion they would like me to have,” but insisted he will not be cowed into retracting his endorsement.
“I don’t respond well to bullying, I don’t respond well to threats.”