Philippe Reines Promotes Harassment of McConnell: ‘Got Away with Murder’ on Garland

‘This is such a made up problem’

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President Obama’s former deputy secretary of State, Philippe Reines, is defending those who harass Republican lawmakers while dining in restaurants.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was berated while eating with his wife, Elaine Chao, Friday, and Reines said such harassment is richly deserved. 

“People are doing this because there is no other opportunity or no other oversight,” Reines said Sunday. “The Republican Congress has basically pledged fealty to Donald Trump. People are doing these things because it’s all that’s left.”

Reines then made light of Republicans who’ve been hounded out of restaurants: “What are they doing? They’re denying Sarah Sanders her supper, her Cornish hen? They’re serenading Kirsten Nielsen in a Mexican restaurant? They’re heckling Stephen Miller for being Stephen Miller.”

Reines, who also served as an aide to Hillary Clinton, said McConnell “got away with murder” in his treatment of Merrick Garland, so his being harassed at a restaurant “is fine.” 

“He’s getting away with murder and net/net I think he thinks this is the worst he gets that’s fine,” Reines said, “but this is such a made up problem.”

Reines, however, said that when Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was berated at a restaurant, that was a “real” concern. 

Here’s a transcript of the exchange:

GURA: “So, Felipe, it was Elaine chow saying no, no, no to to the protesters there. What should an elected official say to the protesters?”
REINES: “Mitch McConnell is a pretty stoic guy. Just the notion when you said, ‘Mitch McConnell and TMZ,’ I had to do a double take.”
GURA: “Might have been a first, I’m not sure.”
REINES: “I think he’s sitting there and he’s thinking a couple things, first of all, I have Capitol Police that are ten feet away; Two, he’s thinking, I’ve got my wife Elaine who is better than the Capitol Police; three, he’s thinking Merrick Garland, you know, versus my leftovers. He’s getting away with murder and net/net I think he thinks this is the worst he gets that’s fine, but this is such a made up problem. Again, it is like Professor Butler said, it is the First Amendment and there is a difference and it goes to something Dr. Greer said, people are doing this because there is no other opportunity or no other oversight. The Republican Congress has basically pledged fealty to Donald Trump. People are doing these things because it’s all that’s left. What are they doing? They’re denying Sarah Sanders her supper, her Cornish hen? They’re serenading Kirsten Nielsen in a Mexican restaurant? They’re heckling Stephen Miller for being Stephen Miller. You watch the Pelosi stuff, the real — when I watch this the real thing to me is the proud boys who I have never heard of but these white nationalists —“
GURA: “Apparently Sean Hannity has never heard of them.”
REINES: “Yeah, even though he has had them on 800 times. You have a Republican Party who is giving aid and comfort to the proud boys and to white nationalists and they become the party of white nationalists and all of their hatred. That’s the bigger deal to me than someone not getting their supper.”
GURA: “There will be those who say this is the direct result of a member of the Democratic Party of Maxine Waters saying this should be happening all the what do you say to that?
REINES: “I don’t think that that’s the case. I think that, you know, yes, if you are an elected official you are a public servant.”

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