Maria Chapelle-Nadal
Candidate Maria N. Chappelle-Nadal speaks on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, during the First District Congressional Candidates debate at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis. Photo by J.B. Forbes,

With five written words Thursday morning, one of Missouri’s most controversial state lawmakers spawned a U.S. Secret Service investigation, potentially endangered her own political career — and flung St. Louis squarely into the middle of America’s raging racial-political debate in the wake of the unrest in Charlottesville, Va.

“I hope Trump is assassinated!” Democrat, D-University City, wrote during a morning Facebook exchange, referring to Republican President Donald Trump.

She quickly deleted her post, but not quickly enough. By midafternoon, the political verdicts of her own party were rolling in:

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.: “I condemn it. It’s outrageous. And she should resign.”

U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis: “(C)alling for the assassination of the President is a federal crime. … (She is) an embarrassment to our state. She should resign immediately.”

Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber: “The … Party will absolutely not tolerate calls for the assassination of the President. I believe she should resign.”

Missouri Senate Democratic Caucus leader Sen. Gina Walsh: “(She) should be ashamed of herself for adding her voice to this toxic environment.”

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens said in a statement: “We can have differences in our country, but no one should encourage political violence. The senator should resign.”

Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, and state Auditor Nicole Galloway, a Democrat, also called for Chappelle-Nadal’s resignation.

In an interview, Chappelle-Nadal acknowledged she wrote the offending line on her personal Facebook page in response to another commenter before deleting it.

“I didn’t mean what I put up. Absolutely not. I was very frustrated. Things have got to change,” Chappelle-Nadal told the Post-Dispatch. “It was in response to the concerns that I am hearing from residents of St. Louis. I have deleted it, and it should have been deleted, but there is something way more important that we should be talking about.”

She added later: “I am not resigning … What I said was wrong, but I am not going to stop talking about what led to that, which is the frustration and anger that many people across America are feeling right now.”

Chappelle-Nadal said her comment stemmed from frustration over the events in Charlottesville over the weekend, in which a white supremacist protester allegedly rammed his car into a group of counterprotesters, killing a 32-year-old woman.