This past Friday, Michael Folk, a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates and United Airlines pilot, Tweeted the following:
@HillaryClinton You should be tried for treason, murder, and crimes against the US Constitution… then hung on the Mall in Washington, DC.
This came after the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation into the Hillary Clinton email scandal, where they recommended charges not be brought against her.
Obviously Folk is getting a lot of political backlash regarding these comments (as he should be), and he’s now apologizing for the statement, saying he didn’t mean it and that it was a hyperbolic statement. Per CNN:
“I do think she should be tried and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Folk told CNN Saturday. But as for being hanged, he said, “No, my gosh. That was the hyperbole in the statement.”
United has taken actions against the pilot as well, and has removed him from flying pending an investigation:
This pilot has been removed from flying pending our investigation. We are appalled by his threatening comments. https://t.co/H1teA2nqsj
— United (@united) July 17, 2016
It’s great that United is investigating this and communicating that publicly, and I’m curious if we ever find out what comes of the investigation.
Should a pilot lose his career over a statement calling for a politician to be hanged?
I’m sort of conflicted. Of course I think what he said was absolutely ridiculous, and I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable flying with someone who believes that (purely in terms of the mental state they’re in). At the same time, assuming he didn’t actually mean it and it was just a really stupid remark, is it something he should lose his airline pilot career over? I assume he’s going to face a lot of political backlash as well.
Regardless, kudos to United for launching an investigation so quickly.
What do you think Folk’s punishment should be as far as his airline pilot career goes?