Moderator describes defending Harris from protester: 'Here comes this guy with all of his male privilege'

The moderator who jumped between a protester and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisRepublican Sean Parnell jumps into Pennsylvania Senate race Biden sees Trump rematch as real possibility Ode to Mother's Day MORE (D-Calif.) during a discussion on the gender gap on Tuesday described her reaction to the man intervening “with all of his male privilege.”

Karine Jean-PierreKarine Jean-PierreBattle lines drawn over Biden's support for vaccine waivers White House: Florida 'moving in the wrong direction' with voting law As US pulls out of Afghanistan, al Qaeda says war 'on all other fronts' to continue: report MORE, MoveOn's chief public affairs officer, was on stage during the Saturday event when a protester came on stage and grabbed the microphone out of Harris’s hand.

Jean-Pierre told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the protester “hurled” his body on stage.


“You have three women on stage — three women of color on stage — having this really insightful conversation. It was Kamala Harris’s big idea. And we’re just talking, going into depth," Jean-Pierre recalled. “We’re also talking about race as well in that conversation." 

“And here comes this guy with all of his male privilege and jumps on stage and says ‘I have something better to talk about. I have something that I want to say,’” she continued. 

She said there was an “insulting” component to the interaction in addition to it being frightening 

MSNBC’s Willie Geist praised Jean-Pierre’s bravery for stepping between the protester and Harris without knowing if he had a weapon. 

Jean-Pierre noted that 12 people were killed by a gunman during a shooting in a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Va., municipal building the day before the event. 

“I thought, ‘She’s a sitting senator who's running for president, a woman of color, anything can happen,’” Jean-Pierre said, noting that she was acting on instinct. “And I just thought, 'It's going to go bad and I cannot let this happen.’”

The protester was quickly removed by security and Harris continued with her discussion.

Direct Action Everywhere, an animal rights organization based in California, said in a statement that the man was an activist who wanted to call on Harris “to support ordinary citizens rescuing animals rather than the factory farms that abuse animals.” 

The man, Aiden Cook, later told a reporter that he considered beforehand how it would look to take away a microphone away from a woman of color. 

"I tried to show my profound respect for each of the people onstage,” he said.