Protesters confront McConnell, Chao over family separations

Greg Nash

A group of protesters confronted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (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 Chao.

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 Nielsen 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 Waters (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.

Tags Elaine Chao Kirstjen Nielsen Maxine Waters Mitch McConnell
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