Federalist senior writer Mary Katharine Ham joined Jake Tapper on CNN’s “The Lead” to talk about anti-Trump protestors getting rowdy, attacking, and spitting on Gold Star families attending the American Legion Salute to Heroes Inaugural Gala Friday.
Ryan Manion, who lost her brother in Iraq in 2007 and Amy Looney, whose husband died in Afghanistan in 2010, were spat upon by anti-Trump protestors while walking into and leaving the American Legion’s Salute to American Heroes Inaugural Gala Friday night. According to Manion, whose Facebook post on the incident has been shared almost 2,000 times, they were not black-bloc-style rioters but mostly regular protesters, and many of them were women. Manion is a personal friend of Ham’s, who talked to her about the incident after seeing her Facebook post. Aside from that, there has been almost no media coverage of this incident.
“As we made our way through the crowd, we were spit at and called some of the worst and most vile things I have ever heard come out of a person’s mouth,” Manion wrote on Facebook. “These people had such hatred in their eyes when they screamed at us. After leaving the event we walked outside and was first pushed by a man in a mask hiding his face, then told by 2 women that we ruined this country… As the one woman screamed the other pushed up against me and colored all over my mom’s shawl I was wearing with permanent marker. I am angry and I am scared. My brother and Amy’s husband gave their lives to protect the freedoms that we hold so dear.”
Ham brought up the incident on CNN.
“I think we can all agree that the tone of protesting yesterday was different than today,” Ham said. “This is a nonpartisan organization holding this ball, they work for a non-partisan foundation and are Gold Star families, but when they went in they were surrounded by protesters and they were spit upon and cursed at — on the way in and the way out.”
“They were shaken, but fine — but [it’s] very disappointing,” she added.
“I don’t think this characterizes the march and the movement that we saw out here today,” she said. “I want to be careful about that because I think that that’s something people have unfairly done to conservative movements in the past and to Tea Partiers, where you pick one thing and you go: ‘Look at those awful people out there, their concerns should be dismissed.'”
“But this is part of the story, as is Madonna saying she thinks about blowing up the White House,” she said. “Those are not great things. If it were a conservative movement, we would hear a lot about it. If you don’t think that the left has some prejudices of its own that can lead it very astray like it did last night in that instance, then you’re wrong. And if you think that that’s not part of the reason many turned to Trump, then you’re also wrong.”
Manion wrote an op-ed on the incident for the Philadephia Inquirer today, but there has been no media frenzy to report on this incident.
“Amy and I did not attend the Inaugural Ball as a political statement. We support the current administration exactly like we supported the previous administration and just like we will support every future administration that the American people elect. Amy and I keep our personal politics private; our duty is to the legacy of Travis and Brendan and all those that have served and sacrificed,” Manion wrote.
“I believe this ugly incident involving Amy and me is one of those teachable moments that our entire country can learn from. The character of this country is, at the end of the day, defined by our differences. I have friends who I love dearly on both sides of the political aisle. Let’s celebrate the differences that not only define us, but define what makes the United States of America the greatest country in the world.”
This article has been updated and expanded since it first published.