Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was cornered on an elevator last week by two female protesters demanding he vote "no" on then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. They told him they were sexual assault victims and that they deserved to be heard. The confrontation appeared to make an impression on him, because later that day he asked the Senate to delay the committee vote on the nominee.
Well, it turned out that one of the women who confronted him is the co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, a group that has received funding from George Soros.
Trump, reading the report, condemned the "paid professionals."
The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2018
“President Trump: Your tweet is incorrect — Mr. Soros does not pay people to protest — and insulting to the many women making their voices heard,” Open Society shot back. “We support the right to protest, enshrined in the 1st Amendment, and are shocked a sitting president does not share the Founders’ view.”
Still, President Trump doubled down on his calling the activists paid professionals Tuesday morning.
The paid D.C. protesters are now ready to REALLY protest because they haven’t gotten their checks - in other words, they weren’t paid! Screamers in Congress, and outside, were far too obvious - less professional than anticipated by those paying (or not paying) the bills!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2018
Vice News editor Shawna Thomas at first appeared to corroborate Trump's claims. On ABC News' "This Week," she claimed that some protesters were paid for their Senate disruptions to create "viral moments."
"There were people who were paid by organizations like UltraViolet, to - to try to harness that energy in a way that would make the viral moments that we ended up seeing," she explained.
Once the headlines came out, however, she attempted to clarify her comments on Twitter.
clarification: I said there were some official organizations in the mix who have staff & consultants that were part of these protests. And some of them were helping individuals with tactics. That is not the same as ppl being paid to protest who don’t care about this issue. https://t.co/SZykSAj8Vt— Shawna Thomas (@Shawna) October 7, 2018
Despite the protesters' actions - paid or not - Kavanaugh was ceremonially sworn in Monday night. During the ceremony, Trump apologized to the new Supreme Court justice and his family for how they had been treated during the "terrible" process. He dismissed the sexual assault allegations against him as a "hoax."