Rep. David Brat (R-VA) told a meeting of conservative groups over the weekend that he has been hounded by female constituents opposed to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
“Since Obamacare and these issues have come up, the women are in my grill no matter where I go,” Brat said at a Saturday event, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“They come up—‘When is your next town hall?’ And believe me, it’s not to give positive input,” he added.
Brat told the newspaper that he believes the protesters are being “paid” by leftist organizations to disrupt conservative events.
“I had one woman on my Facebook say she was going to get up in my grill,” he said. “There’s paid protesters…paid activists on the far left, not my Democratic friends I go to church with.”
“They’re being paid to go around and raise havoc,” he continued.
Brat attributed the pushback for his decision to delay further town halls until after President Donald Trump’s term is well underway.
“Over the past couple of weeks my office has been inundated with phone calls, and emails and comments on social media requesting a townhall meeting, and believe me, I fully intend to have plenty of townhalls that are open and transparent as soon as our first 100 days agenda is implemented and we come up for a breath of air,” he wrote in a Monday Facebook post.
Republican lawmakers across the country have found their town hall meetings disrupted by voters worried about losing coverage if the health care legislation is repealed and about the GOP’s lack of a replacement plan. They are not all Democrats. One two-time George W. Bush voter told TPM recently that it made his “blood boil” when Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) skipped out early on a town hall and then blamed the crowds at the meeting on “partisan activists.”
Trump frequently blamed “professional protesters” for taking to the streets to protest his candidacy, and has done the same in response to the mass demonstrations that have frequently erupted since his election.