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This Florida Democratic U.S. Rep. joked about Trump drowning

A longtime congressman who represents a heavily Democratic district in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Rep. Alcee Hastings, relayed a joke he learned from former state representative Barry Silver's son.
In this May 19, 2010 file photo, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Manuel Balce Ceneta AP
In this May 19, 2010 file photo, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Manuel Balce Ceneta AP
Published Aug. 20, 2018

Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings joked about President Donald Trump drowning in the Potomac River during a campaign rally on Sunday night, prompting laughter from the audience.

Hastings, a longtime congressman who represents a heavily Democratic district in Broward and Palm Beach Counties, relayed a joke he learned from former state representative Barry Silver's son.

"Do you know the difference between a crisis and a catastrophe?" Hastings said, quoting Silver's son. "A crisis is if Donald Trump falls into the Potomac River and can't swim… and a catastrophe is if anybody saves his ass."

Hastings was speaking at the "Stronger Together" rally in Sunrise, which included Sen. Bill Nelson and four of the five leading Democratic candidates for governor. By the time Hastings made the joke, Nelson and the gubernatorial candidates had left, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, which first reported Hastings' comments.

The longtime Democratic lawmaker, who once served as a federal judge until he was impeached in 1989 before winning his congressional seat in 1992, is known for making colorful comments about Trump and other Republicans. He also called Trump a "sentient pile of excrement" during the final stages of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Hastings' office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"There is no question that something is tragically wrong with the president of the United States in his mind," Hastings said, adding that Trump will be brought down by Omarosa Manigault-Newman, the former White House adviser and reality TV contestant on Trump's show "The Apprentice" who says she has recordings of Trump using racial epithets, along with porn actress Stormy Daniels and Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Hastings is heavily favored to win another term in Congress. He faces nominal opposition in the upcoming Democratic primary and does not have a Republican opponent.

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