Protesters confront McConnell, Chao over family separations

A group of protesters confronted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week GOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday evening over the Trump administration's border policies.

McConnell was leaving a dinner at Georgetown University with business executives from the group Cambia Health Solutions, accompanied by his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine ChaoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - US vaccine effort takes hit with Johnson & Johnson pause Gingrich on Trump-McConnell feud: GOP 'better off' focusing on Democrats Trump rips McConnell in speech to Republicans MORE.

The protesters played audio first obtained by ProPublica of crying children who had been separated from their families because of the so-called zero tolerance border policy.

On the video, Chao is heard responding to the protesters.

“Why don’t you leave my husband alone?” she says, pointing at the protesters.


“He’s not," she continues, likely in reference to separating families. Chao later says, "You leave him alone!" 

“How does he sleep at night?” one of the protesters shouts back at Chao. The video also shows a guard pushing the protester back.

The Hill has reached out to McConnell's office for comment.

It is not the first time protesters have confronted McConnell.

In February, pro-gun control protesters staged a "die in" outside his Louisville, Ky., home.

But the latest incident comes as a number Trump officials have been confronted in public over the administration's policies.

Protesters chanted slogans at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenLeft-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' House Republican condemns anti-Trump celebrities during impeachment hearing MORE while she was having dinner in a Mexican restaurant last week. Nielsen eventually left the restaurant.

In a separate incident, White House senior adviser Stephen Miller was called a "fascist" while dining at another Mexican restaurant last week.

And over the weekend, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was refused service at a restaurant in Lexington, Va.

Democratic Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden address to Congress will dominate busy week Maxine Waters: Judge in Chauvin trial who criticized her was 'angry' GOP, Democrats grapple with post-Chauvin trial world MORE (Calif.) over the weekend urged others to publicly confront Trump officials over their policies.

“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters said in a Saturday speech in Los Angeles.

Democratic leaders distanced themselves from those remarks, but the incidents and Waters' comments have sparked a national debate over civility and protests.

McConnell was asked earlier Tuesday about for his reaction to "this feud between Maxine Waters and the president and is civility dying."

He declined to comment. 

Jordain Carney contributed.