Angry Rhode Island voters overwhelmed a community dinner hosted by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on Sunday evening, demanding an explanation as to why the Democratic lawmaker was not doing enough to resist U.S. President Donald Trump.
Specifically, the crowd took issue with the fact that Whitehouse was one of 14 Democrats who voted last week to confirm Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) to head the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), illustrating the backlash likely to befall other Democratic lawmakers who are similarly failing to challenge Trump and his nominees.
In a Facebook call to action, protest organizers blasted Whitehouse and fellow Rhode Island lawmaker Sen. Jack Reed for breaking “with the majority of their Democratic colleagues to vote in support of Trump’s frightening pick for CIA director,” who they described as “a Tea Party congressman who has supported torture and has a disturbing history of anti-Muslim rhetoric and climate change denial.”
“Whitehouse should be leading the resistance to Trump’s dangerous agenda,” the statement continued. “And we, the people, need to draw a line in the sand and make sure that our Senators make the right, necessary choices moving forward. With so many important battles ahead, we can’t be pushed back so easily.”
It appears that hundreds answered that call.
According to the Providence Journal, “The event also ended up happening a few hours after a hastily assembled rally protesting Trump’s immigration moves, at which Whitehouse was a speaker. Hundreds who attended the rally then walked 1.5 miles to the [Providence middle school], but the crowd was so large it could not fit inside the auditorium.”
In a YouTube video posted by the group Resist Hate RI, the wall-to-wall crowd is seen chanting “Just Say No!” and “Obstruct!” while one attendee tells Whitehouse: “If you don’t agree with this candidate, vote against him.”
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