West Texas congressional candidate Ronny Jackson of Amarillo was among the VIPs who said they were confronted by protesters outside the White House early Friday after leaving President Donald Trump’s convention speech.
Jackson, who served as White House physician under Trump and basked in the president’s endorsement in a contested primary, denounced the protesters and used the incident to caution against defunding police.
Jackson tweeted Friday morning that the Secret Service arrested a protester who confronted him and his wife.
Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Victoria, and his son were also among the 1,500 or so guests at Trump’s acceptance speech on the final night of the Republican convention, but he did not say he was accosted.
Freshman Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who addressed the GOP convention from his hometown of Houston, condemned the “violent mobs” and their “unhinged outrage.” He called the Democratic Party their “political wing” that encourages them.
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Austin, quoted a video of protesters screaming at convention guests, including an elderly woman, with the hashtag, #StandUpForAmerica.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, a former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, tweeted that he was “deeply disturbed watching footage of people leaving the convention last night” — a comment that drew derision online from critics who pointed out the admission that the venue was the White House, not a convention per se.
“Democrats and Republicans should stand up against this abhorrent behavior. Though we may not all agree politically, we can agree that violence and intimidation are unacceptable,” McCaul wrote.
A video of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul surrounded by protesters went viral, with protesters calling for him to acknowledge the shooting of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was shot asleep in her bedroom in Louisville. Protesters shouted, “No Justice No Peace” and “Say Her Name.”
Paul tweeted about the incident, saying he got “attacked by an angry mob of over 100.”
On Fox & Friends on Friday morning, Paul said he believed he would have been killed if District of Columbia police had not been there, and he called for an FBI investigation and arrests for “interstate criminal traffic being paid for across state lines.”
He reiterated the false GOP allegation that former Vice President Joe Biden will defund police — a stance that Biden has thoroughly disavowed.
“We can’t have Joe Biden rule the country and have no police,” Paul said. “We can’t walk down the street in D.C. safely now. That’s how bad it is.”
Sen. Ted Cruz called Paul’s ordeal “horrific” and shared a video of protesters surrounding convention guests, declaring these to be a taste of “Joe Biden’s America.”
Protesters assembled outside the White House with whistles and air horns after social media calls to disrupt Trump’s speech.
Reporters on the South Lawn said the protesters were barely audible on White House grounds.
The protest followed similar demonstrations across the country after Jacob Blake, a Black man from Kenosha, Wis., was paralyzed after being shot in the back seven times by a police officer.
Blake’s shooting follows a series of incidents of police brutality that have instigated a nationwide call to defund the police, a slogan referring to the divestment of funds from police departments and redirecting those funds to the community.
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