Va. (CBS) — Democratic Virginia state lawmaker interrupted President Trump’s Jamestown speech Tuesday directly in front of the stage where the president was standing, declaring, “President Trump, you can’t send us back, Virginia is our home.”
Ibraheem Samirah, who is Muslim, held up a sign with the words “Deport Hate,” sparking boos and chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump” from some in the audience. The president temporarily halted his speech, and Samirah was escorted from the event by law enforcement.
The interruption comes after the president has spent weeks deriding progressive women of color, and after he spent the last few days blasting Rep. Elijah Cummings, who is black, over living conditions in Baltimore. Multiple Virginia officials boycotted the Tuesday event commemorating the 400th anniversary of the first representative legislative assembly over Mr. Trump’s rhetoric, and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney resigned from a committee planning the ceremony.
Samirah posted a lengthy statement to Twitter after the incident, declaring the president a “racist-in-chief” who “openly stokes hate against immigrants.”
“400 years ago today, a group of undocumented immigrants formed a government to rule this commonwealth, beginning a centuries long tradition of people from across the world immigrating here for a chance at safety, democracy, and prosperity; my parents, who are Palestinian refugees, included. The fact that the racist-in-chief, who so openly stokes hate against immigrants, was even invited to this event is insulting to Virginians and insulting to the history of our commonwealth’s democracy,” the statement said.
Virginia’s Speaker of the House of Delegates, Kirk Cox, said the young lawmaker’s conduct violated House rules.
“I am disappointed by Delegate Ibraheem Samirah’s disrespectful outburst during the president’s remarks. It was not only inconsistent with common decency, it was also a violation of the rules of the House.”
Mr. Trump’s rhetoric has sparked debate about how the president addresses minorities. A new Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday found 51% of Americans think the president is racist, compared to 43% who do not think he is racist.