- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 24, 2017

Nancy Pelosi says an upcoming Patriot Prayer rally in San Francisco should be prohibited from happening at Crissy Field because Americans may not “yell wolf in a crowded theater.”

National Park Service officials issued a permit earlier this week for a “Freedom Rally” organized by the group Patriot Prayer, but the application process was not without push-back from the House minority leader and former speaker.

A local MyNetworkTV affiliate invited the Democrat in for an interview on Wednesday, at which time she uttered the mixed metaphor.

“My hope is the Park Service would not allow these elements to use a national park to spew forth their venom,” Mrs. Pelosi said just hours before the federal officials approved this Saturday’s event.

Patriot Prayer considers itself a First Amendment rights group, whereas critics like Mrs. Pelosi consider it a danger to civil society.

“How could the Park Service justify denying that organization their free speech rights?” KRON4’s Pam Moore asked Wednesday.

“The Constitution does not say that a person can yell wolf in a crowded theater,” Mrs. Pelosi replied.

The moment was uploaded to the Republican Party’s “GOP War Room” YouTube page on Thursday.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area acting general superintendent Cicely Muldoon issued a statement after the ruling, which said officials “cannot deny a permit to anyone planning to exercise their First Amendment rights based on their political stance or beliefs.”

Mrs. Pelosi called Patriot Prayer’s event a “white supremacist” gathering after the decision, which organizer Joey Gibson denies.

“Nancy Pelosi said it was a white supremacist rally so she could bring out extremists on the right and the left,” Mr. Gibson told Fox News Channel. “She’s telling white supremacists to come into town.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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