Rep. King: ‘Screaming’ Town Hall Protesters ‘Diminish Democracy’

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February 24, 2017 5:04 p.m.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said Thursday that he had decided not to hold town halls with his constituents because he thought such events turned “into a screaming session.”

Asked if angry protesters at town halls were being paid, King said he thought the town hall attendees were “legitimate,” but that yelling at the events “diminishes democracy.”

“There are people who are just angry, they’re angry that Trump won, that Hillary lost. There’s others who are being, I guess, egged on, if you will. So I’m assuming that they’re all legitimate, but to me it just does not serve a purpose. It really diminishes democracy if you’re gonna show up at a meeting to just scream and yell,” he told AM970’s Joe Piscopo Thursday, in an interview surfaced by CNN.

“In my case, I am not having these town hall meetings because to me all they do is just turn into a screaming session,” he said.

King said that, instead of town halls, he had appeared on “every” national television show and was a guest on radio shows. He also said he was meeting with people in his office.

“To try to explain that, when you’re in front of a room and everyone is screaming and yelling, makes no sense, and really trivializes democracy,” King said, referring to congressional policy debates. “I’m gonna do a telephone town hall, where people can call in. But to me, to turn this into a spectacle – and I’m against it on either side.”

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