Man Accuses Trump Of 'Treason,' Throws Russian Flags At Him

President Trump got a rude greeting when he went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

A 36-year-old Virginia resident, Ryan Clayton, confronted the president as he was about to attend a meeting with Senate Republicans. “Trump is treason!” the protester shouted repeatedly. Law-enforcement officers removed Clayton from the Capitol after he tossed a few small Russian flags in the president’s direction.

Trump, who was walking in a hallway with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, appeared to not notice the flags as they fell to the floor a few feet away from him. CNN reported that Clayton had written “Trump” on each of the banners. The protester is an activist with the liberal group Americans Take Action, according to The Washington Post. On its website, the organization claims to be a “populist network formed to restore free and fair elections in America” whose “top priority is resisting the Trump regime.”

Clayton was able to gain access to the area of the building where the news media interview lawmakers, though he may not have been carrying genuine press credentials or a tourist’s pass. Capitol Police filed an unlawful-conduct charge against the protester, who might face additional counts. Clayton explained in an op-ed for HuffPost that he wanted to “draw attention to the Russian interference in our most recent American election ... to decide the outcome in favor of the Trump campaign.” He wrote: “Let’s be clear. Putin picked Trump because it’s good for Russia, not because he’s great for America.”

The incident was not the first time Clayton had used Russian flags to stage a demonstration. In February, he handed out 1,000 of the banners to people attending the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, just before a Trump speech. Many of those in the crowd waved the flags proudly, perhaps because Clayton and fellow activist Jason Charter had inscribed Trump’s name on them. The 22-year-old Charter said the stunt was designed as a reminder about the president’s Russian connections and his frequent praise for Vladimir Putin. “It shows how Trump and Russia are so connected, like peas in pod,” Clayton added.

“Donald Trump is selling out the U.S.,” Charter told HuffPost, proclaiming that “we’re not stopping until (he) is impeached.” The protester recalled that when he “asked people if they wanted a Trump flag, they took it.” He claimed that “there were only about five people who said, ‘Wait a minute, this is the Russian flag.’”

Politico reported that most of the audience “gave no thought” to questioning the flags because “they just saw red, white and blue with Trump printed on it.” When the event’s organizers realized what was happening, they threatened to kick out those who kept waving or holding the flags. Some people wanted to keep the banners as souvenirs, according to The Hill. Security personnel removed Clayton from the room, and evicted Charter after he called the president a “fascist” and “Putin’s puppet.”

CNN reported that Clayton also threw Russian flags at Jared Kushner when the White House adviser and Trump's son-in-law appeared at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

Source: HuffPost, CNN
Photo: YouTube

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