Earlier this week, Republican candidate to represent Florida's 13th District in the House of Representatives—Anna Paulina Luna—accused her Republican rival, William Braddock, of coordinating an attempt on her life.
Luna, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, said:
"I received information yesterday (at midnight) regarding a plan (with a timeline) to murder me made by William Braddock in an effort to prevent me from winning the election for FL-13."
Braddock fervently dismissed her claim, saying:
"This woman is off her rocker and she does not need to be representing anyone."
But a damning secret recording obtained by Politico on Thursday appears to vindicate Luna.
In a phone call with conservative activist Erin Olszewski, who was secretly recording the conversation, Braddock said that he had connections to a Russian-Ukrainian hit squad who could make Luna "disappear" if it looked like she was going to win. Braddock repeatedly told Olszewski that he was "dead serious."
Listen to the chilling recording below.
At one point, Braddock warned Olszewski not to get too close to Luna, warning that she could "be on the wrong side of it," because Luna was "gonna go down."
He went on to say:
""My polling people are going to charge me $20,000 to do a poll right before the primary, and if the poll says Luna's gonna win, she's gonna be gone. She's gonna disappear. And you cannot tell anybody that, but for the good of our country, we have to sacrifice the few."
When asked how he would "make her go," Braddock responded:
"I call up my Russian-Ukrainian hit squad and within 24 hours they're sending me pictures of her disappearing ... I'm not joking."
He further described the hit squad as
"Russian mafia. Close-battle combat, TEC-9s, MAC-10s, silencers kind of thing. No snipers. Up close and personal. So they know that the target has gone."
That's when Braddock warned Olszewski again:
"Don't f***ing be on the wrong side of supporting Luna, because if you're near her when time comes, I just don't want that to happen to you. You've got kids. So don't be associated with Luna under any circumstances, please. And do not repeat this to anybody, because both of us will be in jeopardy if you do. I'm not just blowing smoke here, I'm f***ing being dead ass serious."
Luna has obtained a restraining order, and Braddock refused to tell Politico whether the recording was genuine, speculating that it may have been edited.
People were horrified to hear his plot.
Some saw Braddock's words as a manifestation of the extremism embraced by the Republican party in the era of Trump.
In the same call, Braddock described himself as a "humble servant of God."