Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., defended Thursday the removal of an activist from a news conference on Capitol Hill the day before.
in avvideo posted on Twitter, Higgins can be seen grabbing and pushing Jake Burdett, a progressive activist, away from an outdoor press conference where Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and other House Republicans were speaking about the World Organization for Health.
After the 25-year-old Burdett approached the podium and asked Boebert questions, including about his recent divorce filing, Higgins stood in front of him and said, «You’re out, you’re out.»
Higgins, 61, began to push Burdett.
Get off me, get off me, Clay Higgins. Get off me. What are you trying to do, Clay Higgins? Burdett can be heard saying, as he repeatedly asks to be let go. You are mistreating me. Get off me.
Higgins then told Burdett to «calm down».
In a brief statement on Thursday, Higgins defended his actions.
“The activist was a 103M. Menacing,» Higgins said, in an apparent reference to a police code for a «disturbance by a mental person.»
“He was escorted away and turned over to the Capitol Police. Textbook,” Higgins said.
Higgins also posted a video on twitter in which he suggested that Burdett «became very disruptive and threatening, in violation of the law,» and that he «aggressively interrupted Congresswoman Lauren Boebert and approached her in a threatening manner.»
Burdett, who earlier on Wednesday had attended a rally at the Capitol in support of the Medicare for All Act, did not immediately comment to NBC News on Thursday night.
Kristy Fogle, founder of the Maryland Progressive Healthcare Coalition, who posted a video of the incident, said on Twitter that police «saw my video and held Jake across the street until the press conference was over.»
Fogle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The US Capitol Police also did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday night, but in a statement to The hill He said: «We are aware of this situation, we interviewed the people involved and reviewed the available video.»
bryan gal contributed.