Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, was accosted while dining at a restaurant Friday evening in Louisville with his wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.
At least two people heckled Mr. McConnell after spotting him at the restaurant, Havana Rumba, including an unidentified man who was filmed loudly taunting the lawmaker from a few feet away.
“Why don’t you get out of here? Why don’t you leave the entire country?” the man told Mr. McConnell, as seen in video footage of the encounter recorded from across the restaurant and first published by TMZ.
The same man had taken a container of leftover food off the couple’s table and tossed it outside the restaurant moments earlier, the woman who filmed the footage told the website.
Another witness, Casey Leek, told the Courier-Journal that he also saw the contents of the couple’s to-go box being dumped on the sidewalk outside Havana Rumba.
A different customer had approached the couple earlier during the evening and loudly called Mr. McConnell a “traitor,” Mr. Leek told the newspaper. Several other people subsequently clapped and joined in, and Ms. Chao loudly said they should “leave them alone,” he added.
“I do not support making anyone feel unsafe no matter how much I disagree with them,” Mr. Leek told the Courier Journal.
Similar incidents have unfolded repeatedly in recent months involving Republicans and members of President Trump’s administration being confronted in public, particularly at restaurants, and Mr. McConnell faced a similar run-in weeks earlier when he was heckled by protesters earlier this month inside Reagan National Airport near Washington, D.C.
“We will not be intimidated by these people,” Mr. McConnell said following the airport encounter. “There is no chance in the world that they’re going to scare us out of doing our duty.”