Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said that the thousands of protestors who swarmed his town hall on Thursday night were not actually from his state and were “paid” to protest, the Deseret News reported Friday.
Chaffetz told the paper that he was sure that the protestors, who chanted “shame!” and grilled him on investigating President Donald Trump, were Democrats and that they were trying to cause “chaos” because they don’t like Trump and are upset about the results of the 2016 election.
“You could see it online a couple days before, a concerted effort in part to just cause chaos,” he said, according to the Deseret News. “Democrats are in disbelief that they have nothing but flailing and screaming to deal with this.”
Chaffetz said that he believes that protestors were paid to demonstrate at and disrupt his town hall, telling the paper that one speaker made it a point to make clear that he was not being paid by the Democrats. Chaffetz did not give any info to support his claim.
“Absolutely. I know there were,” he said, telling the paper that it was “more of a paid attempt to bully and intimidate” than the feelings of his constituents.
The Utah Republican, who is the chair of the House Oversight Committee, said that he feels the protests were “ironic” because earlier Thursday he had called for “disciplinary action” against Trump aide Kellyanne Conway for her remarks promoting Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessories line.
“I’ll never satisfy their desire to bring down Donald Trump. I’ll never satisfy that. It will never be good enough,” he told the paper.
But, he said that he wanted to allow peoples’ voices to be heard at the town hall, but he feels like he couldn’t do that, telling the paper that he feels actual Utah residents were better than the people who he perceives as paid protestors from other states.
“That’s who these people are,” he told the paper. “We’re better than that. That’s not what the average Utahn is like.”