McConnell after restaurant confrontation: 'I will not be intimidated'

McConnell after restaurant confrontation: 'I will not be intimidated'
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTSA agents protest government shutdown at Pittsburgh airport The case for Russia sanctions Pompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation MORE (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that he would "not be intimidated" after a recent confrontation at a Kentucky restaurant.

McConnell, in a Courier Journal op-ed, called the incident an example of the "antics of far-left protesters" and "extremist left-wing tantrums."

"I’m not sure exactly what in my career suggests I would be easily swayed by such a spectacle. The reality is simple: I will not be intimidated," McConnell wrote.


McConnell and his wife, Treasury Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoWhite House announces reduced delegation to travel to Davos amid shutdown Hillicon Valley: Dem blasts groups behind Senate campaign disinformation effort | FCC chief declines to give briefing on location-data sales | Ocasio-Cortez tops lawmakers on social media | Trump officials to ease drone rules Trump administration proposes allowing drone flights at night, over populous areas MORE, were confronted over the weekend at a restaurant in Louisville, Ky., by a man who yelled at the couple and berated them over their politics.

McConnell wrote that video footage of the incident did not "lay out all the facts," including that the man entered the restaurant and "rushed at us." 

"Acting alone, he began shouting, slamming his fists on our table, and causing a disruption as others tried to eat. At one point, he even grabbed my wife’s to-go box off of our table and threw it outside onto the ground," McConnell added. 

Other diners shushed the protester or asked him to leave, and McConnell added in the op-ed that he appreciated "those who spoke up against the shameful behavior." 

McConnell is one of several senators who have been publicly confronted since the fight over Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMerriam-Webster tweets out definition of 'suborn' after BuzzFeed report on Michael Cohen Abortion foes march into divided Washington GOP pollster says last minute enthusiasm saved Republicans in some midterm races MORE's Supreme Court nomination, including at their homes, at airports and in the Senate office buildings. 

Republicans have seized on the spike in confrontations, referring to protesters as the "mob" and characterizing the upcoming midterm election as choice between "jobs" and "mobs."

McConnell added that the incident was not about him but a reflection of the "mob mentality that is being systematically fed and encouraged by the far left."

But some Democratic senators, including Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate rejects government-wide ban on abortion funding Centrist efforts to convince Trump to end shutdown falter Bipartisan group of senators will urge Trump to reopen government for 3 weeks MORE (D-W.Va.), have also been confronted by protesters. Republican Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSchumer recruiting top-notch candidate for McCain Senate seat The Hill's Morning Report — Trump eyes wall money options as shutdown hits 21 days Poll: Sanders most popular senator, Flake least MORE (Ariz.), who sometimes criticizes the president, said on Monday that he and his family had also received death threats from an individual "from the right."