Police have identified a Virginia man as the protester who confronted President Donald Trump on Tuesday in a secure corridor of the U.S. Capitol building.
Video of the incident, which spread widely via social media, depicts a man repeatedly yell “Trump is treason!” while throwing Russian flags at the president, who was walking alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Authorities say Ryan Clayton was the man who waited among reporters ahead of Trump’s planned lunch with GOP lawmakers, at which they were expected to discuss tax reform policy.
“Why are you talking about tax cuts when you should be talking about treason?” Clayton asked.
“This president has conspired with agents of the Russian government,” he yelled out. “We should be talking about treason in Congress, not about tax cuts!”
MSNBC correspondent Kasie Hunt was live in the Capitol building when the interruption occurred. She discussed the incident with veteran journalist Andrea Mitchell.
Hunt called it a “very unusual breach of decorum,” prompting Mitchell to remark on the rarity of such a demonstration.
“Let’s just recap here,” Mitchell said. “The president was walking down the corridor right off the Senate floor on the second floor of the Capitol, one of the most secure places in Washington, and we saw something that I’ve never seen there.”
Clayton was arrested at the scene.
Other reporters also shared footage of the disruption via Twitter, including NBC News’ Frank Thorp V.
Thorp claimed in a tweet after the disruption that the protester had been embedded in the gaggle of reporters inside the Capitol earlier in the day.
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 24, 2017
According to The Daily Caller, Clayton was escorted out of the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year for handing out Russian flags.
NBC News reported he was overheard telling Secret Service agents after Tuesday’s disruption that he represented a group called Americans Take Action, which according to its website wants Trump to be impeached.
Image and Content: Western Journalism