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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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