An angry mob in Washington on Friday surrounded Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and his wife as well as other lawmakers, including state Georgia Rep. Vernon Jones, a Democrat who supports President Donald Trump.
Video footage showed Paul, who was brutally assaulted by his neighbor several years ago, protected from the crowd by police officers.
Paul and several women stood in place for at least 5 minutes until more officers arrived. Police began fending off the demonstrators so the small group could move. Demonstrators shouted at the senator, issuing threats and calling on him to say the name of Breonna Taylor, a woman shot by police officers. “White silence is violence!” they told Paul, who introduced the “Justice for Breonna Taylor Act” last month.
After several minutes of walking, Paul and the women made it to a hotel.
“Just got attacked by an angry mob of over 100, one block away from the White House,” Paul wrote in a tweet. He thanked Metropolitan Police Department officers “for literally saving our lives from a crazed mob.”
“The threats were to ‘f you up,’ to you know, ‘to kill you.’ The threats were if they could get a hold of you—and I truly believe with every fiber of my being, had they gotten at us, they would have gotten us to the ground,” Paul added during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
“We might not have been killed. We might just have been injured by being kicked in the head or kicked in the stomach until we were senseless. You’ve seen the pictures. Most of the networks will not show the pictures of this. This is happening in all of our cities. It’s got to stop, and thank God for the police.”
Paul said “the irony is lost on these idiots, that they’re trying to kill the person who is trying to get rid of no-knock raids,” referring to the legislation he introduced.
“We can’t walk down the street in D.C. safely now. That’s how bad it is,” he said.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called what happened “wrong,” before adding: “The police protecting them were heroic, but this needs to stop. This is very close to escalating to serious violence.”
Other people who attended the Republican National Convention events at the White House were also confronted by Black Lives Matter demonstrators, including Jones, a black man who has faced criticism from Democrats for supporting Trump.
Alex Triantafilou, an attorney who serves as chairman of the Hamilton County, Ohio GOP, said what he experienced as he exited the White House “will never leave me.”
“We had to endure the ‘peaceful protestors’ as they hurled insults, threatened me with assault, and generally made a walk through an American city a harrowing ordeal,” he said on Twitter. “Unacceptable.”
Police officers clashed with demonstrators in multiple areas.
At one point, a group of demonstrators harassed an elderly couple, one of whom was wearing a “Trump 2020” T-shirt, before knocking the man to the ground.
The raucous demonstrations during Trump’s speech featured a guillotine with a blow-up version of the president on it.
The Metropolitan Police Department didn’t respond to a request for comment. Data the department published later Saturday showed eight arrests were made, including five for assaulting police officers, during the unrest overnight.