GOP candidate faces backlash after sharing Christmas ornaments of Democrats in nooses

Closeup of Decorated Christmas tree Getty Images/Nata Serenko
Closeup of Decorated Christmas tree Getty Images/Nata Serenko
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A Republican congressional candidate posted an image of a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments of Democrats in nooses and later expressed regret after being hit with backlash.

Former West Virginia state lawmaker Derrick Evans shared and quickly deleted the image, which showed miniature versions of politicians like President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former President Barack Obama and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., hanging from nooses, according to The Messenger. A Donald Trump ornament beside the display appears to be raising his hand in approval of the hangings.

After his post to X, formerly Twitter, was screencapped and embroiled in backlash, Evans claimed the pictured tree wasn't his and conceded that the image of the president hanging by a noose wasn't a good way to celebrate the holiday.

"Not my tree. Not my ornaments. Not in good taste. NOT a call for violence," Evans tweeted. "I shouldn't have used a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus for anything political (good taste or poor taste). Let's go celebrate this time with our families in love and peace."

"I’ve been very clear that I do NOT support violence," he added in a separate post before making a "Home Alone" reference.

Evans, who resigned in January 2021 from the West Virginia House of Delegates after being federally charged over his participation in the Jan. 6, Capitol riot, is running for Congress in 2024.

He is a vocal supporter of Trump and the former president's baseless claims about the 2020 presidential contest being fraudulent and stolen. The former West Virginia legislator pleaded guilty to one felony count of civil disorder in March 2022 and later served a 3-month sentence in federal prison for his role in the riot, during which he livestreamed his felonious activities on Facebook, according to NBC News.

“We’re taking this country back whether you like it or not! … Shame on all of you! … You listen to your liberal mayor instead of the Constitution … Patriots ain’t being quiet anymore. Patriots ain’t gonna stand down to tyranny anymore! Patriots ain’t gonna stand down for stolen elections anymore!” prosecutors said Evans yelled.

“I bet Trump would pardon anybody who gets arrested for goin’ in there," he said on the livestream.

Evans said he was only in the Capitol for approximately 10 minutes.

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On the second anniversary of the Capitol attack, the West Virginian announced he was running for Congress.

"I chose today to announce my bid for the House of Representatives because it is an important anniversary in US history," he wrote at the time. "While my name will indelibly be part of it, we should also use as a chance to remind ourselves about why democracy is so important and how easily it can be threatened."

In another Christmas Day post this year, Evans exclaimed that "Trump Won" after asking his followers to keep Jan. 6 prisoners in their thoughts during the holidays.

"Please remember my fellow January 6th Patriots today. I’m happy to be out of prison and home with my family, but others are not as fortunate," he tweeted. "Prison is hard in general, but holidays are much harder. So many families being hurt by this illegitimate Biden regime."