A protester shouted "Trump is treason!" and "This is not about tax reform!" before throwing Russian flags on the floor in the Capitol Building on Tuesday as President Donald Trump arrived to eat lunch with Republican senators to discuss tax reform. Media sources have identified the protester as Ryan Clayton — the president of Americans Take Action — who was standing in the designated press area with journalists and photographers.
Random guy threw Russian flags at Trump and shouted “Trump is treason” pic.twitter.com/stVfDOtMAB— aída chávez (@aidachavez_) October 24, 2017
While the fracas unfolded, MSNBC reporter Kasie Hunt said, “That’s a very unusual breach of decorum for us to experience here.” To stand in the press area, the protester would have needed clearance from U.S. Capitol Police and have a special identification. Ryan Clayton could be seen in video coverage standing behind Republican Senator Bob Corker was being interviewed about Trump.
Protester tosses Russian flags at Pres. Trump at Capitol, yelling "Trump is treason!" pic.twitter.com/PGtfAaO00O— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 24, 2017
Veteran journalist Andrea Mitchell said that President Trump “was walking down the corridor right off the Senate floor on the second floor of the Capitol, one of the most secure places in Washington. We saw something we’ve never seen here before.” Capitol Police took custody of Clayton immediately after he began his tirade, escorting him away from the media. Ryan Clayton was expelled from the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference for distributing Russian flags to conferees. Clayton writes occasionally for the Huffington Post website.
Video: Protester posing as journalist throws papers at Trump as he arrives for Senate GOP lunch yelling "Trump is treason!" pic.twitter.com/8dewfQrHVI— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 24, 2017
Following the fracas, James O'Keefe of Project Veritas confirmed that Clayton harassed one of undercover journalists who works for Project Veritas. Clayton is reportedly part of Americans Take Action, a leftist group that was especially active during the 2016 campaign.
Protester ID’d self as Ryan Clayton from Americans Take Action got very close to Trump and threw these flags at him pic.twitter.com/hIk1v2qpHS— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) October 24, 2017
According to Project Veritas, Americans Take Action has been associated with similar political stunts in the past, including the offering of a Russian flag to Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law.
Ryan Clayton, the guy who was just arrested on nat TV once accosted and verbally harassed a young female- one of my undercover reporters. pic.twitter.com/ttVc8eLYls— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 24, 2017
Confronting the traitor. https://t.co/x9cGbKPd67— AmericansTakeAction (@AmericansAction) July 25, 2017