Illustrating the deepening division across the nation since the breach of the U.S. Capitol, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was interrupted Tuesday by a heckler during a Manhattan sidewalk press conference who was allowed to rant for more than two minutes, calling the New York Democrat a “racist,” a “coward” and a “socialist” in the vein of Adolf Hitler and warning of “more unrest in these streets.”
Schumer was there to announce his call for federal authorities to place anyone who was inside the Capitol last Wednesday on the no-fly list. And — after declaring President Trump a threat to the nation that must be removed immediately — he argued that the Senate, contrary to Mitch McConnell’s insistence, can convene an emergency session to convict President Trump after the House votes Wednesday to impeach him.
“We are here today because … the insurrectionists fall under the definition of threat to the homeland and should be immediately added to the no-fly list,” he said.
Schumer said that amid the “continuing threat of future violence,” he spoke twice in recent days with FBI Director Christopher Ray.
“We cannot allow these same insurrectionists to get on a plane and cause more violence and more damage,” he said.
Videos of the entire press conference, including one posted by Fox Business, have been removed by YouTube. Here’s a portion of it in one posted by MSNBC:
See video of the confrontation at Schumer’s presser via Twitter:
— Mike Carter (@MikeCarterTV) January 12, 2021
Schumer then reacted to Trump’s remarks Tuesday morning before the president boarded Air Force One for an appearance at the U.S.-Mexico border in Alamo, Texas.
The minority leader said his words show “how despicable a president he is.”
Trump said the Democrats’ impeachment drive is “ridiculous” and declared “we want no violence” from supporters. He said, regarding his remarks at a rally before the joint session of Congress, “People thought what I said was totally appropriate.”
Trump told his supporters last Wednesday at the conclusion of a speech that detailed allegations of vote fraud: “After this, we’re going to walk down there, and I’ll be there with you, we’re going to walk down… to the Capitol and we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women,” he said.
Trump added, “Everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
Democrats introduced an article of impeachment against Trump Monday charging him with inciting an insurrection by falsely claiming the Nov. 3 election was stolen from him. The House is expected to vote on a 25th Amendment resolution Tuesday and impeachment on Wednesday.
‘This is a time of emergency’
“What Trump did today, blaming others for what he caused, is a pathological technique used by the worst of dictators,” Schumer said at his sidewalk presser Tuesday.
“Trump causes the anger, he causes the divisiveness, he foments the violence and blames others for it. That is despicable,” Schumer said.
The Democratic leader said Trump “should not hold office one day longer.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, he noted, contends unanimous consent is required to convene for an impeachment trial. Schumer argues a 2004 law allows for the minority and majority leaders to reconvene in time of emergency.
“This is a time of emergency,” he said.
‘Unrest in our hearts’
The heckler, a woman with a surgical mask dressed in a “Pittsburgh” sweatshirt, then lit into Schumer while he and his aides and the others who were assembled on the street corner remained silent.
“You’re a racist,” she said. “I’m glad what the Trump protesters did.”
As someone tried to move her away, she yelled, “Take your hands off of me.”
“I didn’t think that the Trumpsters had it in them,” she said. “I’m glad that they did.”
President Trump and every Republican leader have condemned the violence at the Capitol while some, acknowledging there were Trump supporters involved, have cautioned against a rush to judgment, noting an investigation is underway that is probing the involvement of members of far-left movements such as Antifa.
Continuing to speak directly to Schumer, the woman said: “Adolf Hitler was a socialist, and that’s exactly who your are. You’re nothing but a coward.”
She cited House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissing the violent protests last summer with, “People do what they do.”
“As long as there is outrage and unrest in our hearts, there is going to be unrest in these streets,” the woman said.
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