GOP rep: Town hall protesters are constituents, not paid demonstrators

Rep. Leonard LanceLeonard LanceKean Jr. to run against Malinowski: report Thomas Kean wins GOP primary to take on Rep. Tom Malinowski Gun debate to shape 2020 races MORE (R-N.J.) says protesters at his town hall event were angry constituents, pushing back on Republican assertions that they are paid protesters.

“I always try to speak truthfully. I believe, for example, that those at my town hall meeting last night were not paid,” Lance said Thursday on CNN’s “New Day."

“And if the White House believes that many of those at town hall meetings have been paid, I think that that is an inaccurate statement,” he added.

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“I do believe that most of those at my town hall meeting last night were there based upon being constituents in the district. And I was pleased to be able to interact with them.”

Lance was greeted by scores of people urging him to “push back” against President TrumpDonald TrumpMedia giants side with Bannon on request to release Jan. 6 documents Cheney warns of consequences for Trump in dealings with Jan. 6 committee Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official MORE during his town hall in Branchburg, N.J., on Wednesday.

Republicans are facing tough crowds during the congressional recess this week, with town hall attendees nationwide challenging them on issues ranging from ObamaCare to Trump’s connections to Russia.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday that the recurring incidents are a mix of real frustration and “professional” disruption.

“There’s a hybrid there: I think some people are clearly upset, but there is a bit of a professional protester, manufactured base in there,” he said during his daily press briefing.

Trump tweeted Tuesday that the “so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists."