A congressional intern who yelled an obscenity at President Trump at the Capitol last week has been suspended.
The incident took place on June 19, as Trump was walking to the office of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) to discuss immigration, according to a video taken by NBC News reporter Frank Thorp V.
In the video, as Trump’s entourage walks through a corridor, a woman can be heard shouting “Mr. President!” — followed by a profane insult.
The woman, who was on the other side the Capitol Rotunda at the time, was identified as an intern working for Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.). The intern, Caitlin Marriott, was suspended for one week. Hassan’s office said it also “facilitated contact with Capitol Police” regarding the incident.
“Her behavior violated the standards of our office about appropriate conduct,” the senator said in a brief interview at the Capitol on Tuesday. “We suspended her for a week, and we took away the badge that allows her to travel freely in the Capitol complex, which means that she will be highly restricted for the remainder of her internship.
“I think it’s really important to understand that this behavior shouldn’t be equated with the president’s destructive and divisive actions, like ripping health care away from people by failing to protect preexisting conditions; going out, gutting the ACA; like separating children from their parents at our southern border. And this young woman immediately accepted responsibility for her actions and is facing consequences for them. The president is doing neither.”
Asked about critics who have complained Marriott’s punishment should have been more severe, Hassan said: “I would point them to the fact that she has been held accountable for actions that she took full responsibility for.”
Marriott could not immediately be reached Tuesday. Her suspension was reported Monday night by the Hill.
The profane exclamation came during a week that would end in emotionally charged debates about how Trump administration officials can and should be treated in public.
Last Tuesday — the same evening of the intern’s outburst inside the Capitol building — protesters from the Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America converged on a local Mexican restaurant where Department of Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen was dining and heckled her with chants of “Shame! Shame!” and “End family separation!”
Then, on Friday night, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen, a small, farm-to-table restaurant in Lexington, Va., about 200 miles from Washington. The restaurant’s owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, said she surveyed her kitchen staff, who agreed in their belief “that Sanders worked in the service of an ‘inhumane and unethical’ administration,” as The Washington Post’s Avi Selk and Sarah Murray reported.
“I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,” Wilkinson told The Washington Post the morning after. “I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”
Sanders and her party exited the restaurant politely, Wilkinson said. The press secretary later tweeted about the incident, triggering a firestorm of debate over whether the restaurant’s request was acceptable — as well as a tweet from Trump slamming the Red Hen as “filthy.”
Soon, other establishments around the country also named the Red Hen were mistakenly receiving hateful messages and even death threats.
The debate shows no sign of abating. At a rally Saturday, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) called for people opposed to Trump to harass his Cabinet members if they see them in public.
“The American people have put up with this president long enough. What more do we need to see? What more lies do we need to hear?” Waters declared. “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them!”
Her speech, in conjunction with the incidents last week, spawned countless arguments about the fate of civility in the United States. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urged restraint and unity in response to her colleague’s remarks.
However, Trump responded with an impolite retort of his own, blasting Waters as “an extraordinarily low IQ person” and warning her of his many supporters.
“Be careful what you wish for Max!” the president tweeted Monday.