A senior staffer for Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) sent a bizarre email across the Senate GOP conference earlier this week in which he wrote a fictional account fantasizing about GOP senators fighting with each other and one threatening to stab others with shards of a broken glass bottle.

Chris Barkley, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Romney, on Wednesday wrote to Senate GOP staffers what he said “can only be described as a too-revealing peak [sic] into all of your offices, I wanted to alert everyone that I have as of late learned the response I circulated on Friday came up at yesterday’s policy lunch.”


It was sent as a follow-up to an email Barkley had sent across the conference the previous week thanking Republicans for signing Romney’s letter pushing President Joe Biden for an accounting of coronavirus aid funding—and sending a response Romney received from the White House.

That’s where things got weird in the email: Barkley then fantasizes about a fight breaking out between senators involving a trident being thrown and a glass bottle being broken as he says one senator threatened to stab others with shards from it.

“My boss stood up to reference the letter, at which point Senator [REDACTED] complained that he hadn’t seen the document,” Barkley wrote. “Others chimed in to the same effect. My boss tried, helplessly, to say it had been circulated last week. Much harrumphing ensued. Tom Cotton then stood up and hurled his egg salad sandwich across the room the original harumpher, but it unintentionally hit Roger Wicker who then hurled a trident back, missing Cotton, but nearly pinning John Thune to the wall. In the fog of war, Deb Fischer punched Richard Shelby square in the jaw and a full melee broke out. Things didn’t calm down until Rob Portman broke a bottle on the table and threatened to stab the next person who moved.”

He concluded his email by reminding everyone the document from the White House was in their email inboxes. “Once the dust settled, they agreed a better path forward was for me to send an email reminding everyone the document is in your inboxes if you or your boss cares to review it,” Barkley wrote.

Then, at the very end, Barkley wrote a disclaimer about the above account of a violent fight breaking out between senators: “The following account may be mostly fictional.”

A spokesperson for Romney told the email was just a joke. “As is made obvious in the text of the email, this was entirely in jest,” Romney spokesperson Arielle Mueller said.

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