DENVER — The chairwoman of the Denver Republican Party is defending her comment that non-violence icon Martin Luther King Jr. “wishes he’d had a sniper on his side” the day he was assassinated.

Kris Cook’s statement on Facebook was circulated by political opponents beneath a photo of Cook posing with a gun.

King’s daughter, Bernice King, responded on Twitter Wednesday telling Cook, “Don’t use him for this.”

“He stood by his nonviolent philosophy,” King said. “He would not have wanted a gun battle on his behalf.”

Cook stood by her comment that King “wishes he’d had a sniper” on April 4, 1968, when King was assassinated by a sniper wielding a Remington rifle.

Cook said those who juxtaposed her comment with the photo of her holding a gun were trying to “misrepresent the intent of my comment.”

“Doctored memes like the one being circulated of me only serve to increase the division, when in a case like this both sides share the same ultimate respect for Dr. King,” Cook said in a written statement.

Cook said she reached out to Bernice King “to thank her for helping me understand her father’s perspective.”

Cook said she would make another public statement after speaking with King.

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