Following President Donald Trump’s speech on Thursday accepting his party’s nomination to conclude the Republican National Convention, attendees exited into a group of protesters surrounding the White House.
One of the officials caught up in the chaos was U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who was accosted and verbally harassed as he and his wife moved through the streets to a nearby hotel, Fox News reported.
“Chased by a crowd back to his hotel”
A handful of Metro D.C. police officers were on hand and can be seen intervening to protect Paul from possible injury.
Several onlookers and independent journalists captured the unrest on cellphones and uploaded the footage to social media.
One clip, which shows a police officer apparently pushed backward into the senator, was widely shared as evidence that Paul’s safety — along with numerous others — was in danger.
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) August 28, 2020
“Circled by a hateful mob”
Paul addressed the incident in his own tweet a short time later, confirming that he was safe in the aftermath of the commotion.
“Just got attacked by an angry mob of over 100, one block away from the White House,” he tweeted. “Thank you to [D.C. police] for literally saving our lives from a crazed mob.”
On Friday morning, Paul’s wife, Kelley, addressed what she deemed misleading media reports that they had simply been “confronted” by the protesters gathered near the White House.
According to Fox, she tweeted that the had been “circled by a hateful mob shouting vile expletives, preventing us from moving,” going onto similarly express gratitude to local police officers “for their protection.”
Sen. Paul also appeared on Fox & Friends to further address the incident, stating on Friday that he believes he and his wife would have killed or severely injured at the hands of the protesters if not for the officers acting as a buffer, Fox reported.
As destructive and often violent demonstrations continue unabated in many communities across the U.S. and protesters feel emboldened enough to clash with elected officials outside of the White House, the Democratic Party might have difficulty in its goal to portray the ongoing civil unrest as almost entirely peaceful.