Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) asserted that a crowd of demonstrators who confronted him as as he was leaving the White House following the Republican National Convention early Friday were “paid anarchists.”
“I know it sounds like over-the-top to say,” Paul told “Fox & Friends” hosts during an interview Friday as he prefaced the unfounded conspiracy. He then laid out a convoluted claim that the group who surrounded him and his wife and chanted the refrain “No Justice, No Peace” had been hired from out of town “specifically in our case,” suggesting that the group was neither local to Washington, D.C. nor acting on their own convictions.
“This is disturbing, because really, if you’re inciting a riot that’s a crime — but if you’re paying someone to incite a riot, that person needs to go to jail as well. But we can’t live this way. It’s getting worse and worse,” Paul said, adding that he and his wife cannot go outside now.
“Its become so dangerous for us and I don’t hear Joe Biden or Kamala Harris saying one thing about the violence. This mob is their voters. This is the new Democratic Party.”
Sen. Rand Paul pushed a conspiracy that a group confronting him as he left the White House early Friday were "paid anarchists." He labeled them as a "mob" representing "the new Democrat party." He also seized the opportunity to plug for law and order and support for the police. pic.twitter.com/HCnZ5ppWax
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 28, 2020
But Paul’s effort to paint Biden as anti-police and a promoter of mob violence starkly contrasts the actual words of Biden who during an MSNBC interview Thursday suggested it was Trump’s leadership that had yielded social unrest, saying that the President was “rooting for more violence, not less.”
“He’s pouring gasoline on the fire. This happens to be Donald Trump’s America,” Biden said, adding: “I condemn violence in any form, whether it’s looting or whatever it is.”
Harris had similarly denounced acts of violence in remarks Thursday afternoon during her first solo campaign event, saying that peaceful protesters should not be confused with “those looting and committing acts of violence.”
Throughout his interview on Friday, Paul seized the opportunity to politicize the moment, saying that although he and his wife were unharmed, a vote for Trump’s Democratic challenger in November would bring an end to law and order — “the country will be on fire,” he said.
Video footage posted to Twitter from Paul’s encounter with demonstrators shows dozens of people confronting the senator and his wife within blocks of the White House. The couple was closely guarded by police who used bicycles as barriers against the demonstrators.
Paul later tweeted that he “got attacked” by a “crazed mob” one block away from the White House. He thanked the police for “saving his life.”
It was not clear whether any protesters made physical contact with Paul and he confirmed to Fox News hosts that he and his wife had not been physically harmed.