Whitehouse feeling heat on Cabinet votes
PROVIDENCE (AP) — Protesters shouted down Rhode Island Democratic U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse during a community event as they protested his vote in favor of President Donald Trump's nominee for CIA director and pushed him to vote against other nominees.
A video of Sunday's event posted by the group Resist Hate RI shows hundreds of people at the event, and the crowd chanting "Just Say No!" and "Obstruct!" while demanding an explanation of his vote for Mike Pompeo as CIA director. Rhode Island voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton by a wide margin in the presidential election.
The event at a Providence school was billed as a "community dinner" and planned before Trump was inaugurated Jan. 20, spokeswoman Meaghan McCabe said Monday. Whitehouse has hosted dozens of such events, starting from when he first ran for Senate in 2006, but they are typically sleepy affairs.
Protesters began working on social media last week to ensure a big turnout. The event also ended up happening a few hours after a hastily assembled rally protesting Trump's immigration moves, at which Whitehouse was a speaker.
Hundreds who attended the rally then walked 1.5 miles to the school, but the crowd was so large it could not fit inside the auditorium.
Many chanted "Take it outside!" as the event began, according to media reports, video from the event and social media posts from people who attended.
After answering questions inside, Whitehouse went outside and used a bullhorn to address hundreds more people from the steps of the school.