A journalist embedded with anti-Kavanaugh protesters says that some protesters were in fact paid, as President Trump has alleged.
“A lot of them were normal people who were mad,” said Vice D.C. bureau chief Shawna Thomas on ABC’s “This Week,” adding, “We also saw people who were organized.”
She pointed to activists who confronted Sen. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, in an elevator late last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, who has since been confirmed.
“That moment with Jeff Flake on the Hill,” Ms. Thomas said. “We talked to one woman who works for UltraViolet who was paid — she helped steer people in the right ways to be able to confront senators.”
“There were people who were paid by organizations like UltraViolet to try to harness that energy in a way that would make the viral moments that we ended up seeing,” said Ms. Thomas.
Her comments came with Republicans calling into question the amateur status of the anti-Kavanaugh protesters who roiled Capitol Hill during the confirmation process.
More than 300 protesters were arrested last week as large crowds rallied outside the Senate and Supreme Court, with hundreds spilling into the Senate buildings to confront senators directly in the halls.
Ms. Thomas later tweeted that professionals helping volunteer activists with tactics were not the same as people with no interest in the issue being paid to protest.
Mr. Trump drew outrage on the left Friday when he tweeted, “The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it!”