Elizabeth Warren event interrupted by protester who accuses her of ‘siding with Iran’

DOVER, N.H. — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was berated Friday by a protester who accused her of “siding with Iran,” a tense campaign-trail moment the presidential hopeful turned into an opportunity to unleash her latest critique of President Trump’s actions in the Middle East.

Warren was brusquely interrupted by a screaming protester who charged toward the stage moments after she took the microphone at her Dover, N.H., town hall early Friday afternoon.

“You’re siding with racists. You’re siding with Iran. Why are you siding with terrorists?” the man yelled at Warren, before calling her “a fraud” and telling her to resign.

Warren calmly replied, “This is a man who’s deeply upset. It’s all right. It’s time for you to leave.”

The protester was escorted out of the venue by a police officer and Warren’s staff.

Warren later said, “Getting into a shouting match with a man who is so clearly disturbed is not helpful to him and not helpful to anyone.”

Seeking to regroup after the jarring start, Warren pivoted to Trump, attempting to link the president’s order to kill Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani to his looming impeachment trial in the Senate.

“Now it comes out just today that Donald Trump told his associates, at the time that he was ordering the killing of Soleimani, that he was under pressure from Republican senators whose votes and support he would need during the impeachment trial,” Warren said.

Trump’s “first concern on national security issues is not the security of the United States, it’s Donald Trump’s own political skin,” Warren continued, adding, “This man is an embarrassment.”

Warren’s latest take on the escalating tensions with Iran comes as Democratic presidential hopefuls seek to make their case as being the best commander in chief to avert a new crisis in the Middle East following the Trump administration’s killing of Soleimani.

The Massachusetts senator has faced criticism from both sides over her changing statements after the strike that took out the key Iranian general.

But voters in Dover told the Herald they were impressed by Warren’s handling of her protester.

“It was intense. She handled it very well,” said Emma Kemp of Kittery, Maine.

Between the senator’s calm response in the face of fire and her message in support of the working class, Kemp said she had been persuaded to vote for Warren.

“What she said felt compassionate and I think that’s what we need in a president,” Mary Cutrara, an independent from Lee, N.H., said of Warren.

Jeremiah Dickinson of Dover, N.H., said, “I thought she handled it very well. I think that he was clearly disturbed, approaching her in an ineffective way, and she was able to just be quiet and acknowledge that he was upset.”

But, he added, “I think it’s an indication that our ability to have dialogue has decreased.”

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