Washington: US President-elect Donald Trump’s advisers have dismissed the tens of thousands of protesters on the streets against his election as “professional” disruptors and called on Democratic leaders to tell them to go home, media reported on Monday.
According to Team Trump, President Barack Obama, Democratic leader Hillary Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats need to intervene to stop the unrest unfolding from Los Angeles to Manhattan, the New York Post reported.
“The President of the US, Secretary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, perhaps, others can come forward and ask for calm and a peaceful transition and ask their supporters, which are masquerading as protesters now – many of them professional and paid by the way, I’m sure – ask them to give this man a chance so that this country can flourish,” said Donald Trump campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway on Sunday.
The appeal comes as more than 3,000 chanting, sign-waving protesters trudged from Union Square to Trump Tower along Manhattan’s storied Fifth Avenue with cries of “We reject! The President elect!”, joining angry anti-Donald Trump marchers across the country.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said protesters have targeted him and were “banging on my car”.
“I’m not sure these are even Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama supporters. I think these people are, you know, kind of like professional protesters,” Giuliani said.
Conway specifically singled out Senator Henry Reid for inciting unrest by saying on Friday the responsibility of healing the country belongs with Trump – “a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fuelled his campaign with bigotry and hate.”
“A lot of these protesters are not there peacefully, are not there because they just want to express themselves and make a point or make the difference. They are there for nefarious conditions, they’re booing us, spitting on us. They’re causing all kinds of havoc.”
Obama, Clinton and Sanders have all expressed a desire to work with Trump on a peaceful transition of power but have not condemned the protesters.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Minnesota representative Keith Ellison – an early favourite for Democratic National Committee chairman – said it’s the priority of Democrats to exercise their First Amendment rights.
“God bless the protesters,” Booker said on NBC’s “Meet the Press”.
Booker cautioned protesters against “turning to hateful speech, violating principles and ideals that are sacred in this country,” Booker said. “We need to raise our voices, but we do not need to indulge in hate.”
Ellison called on the protests to “remain peaceful” but urged them to stand strong in the face of “misogyny” and racial divisions.
“These folks are telling Donald Trump that if he tries to move out on his plan to have a deportation squad, to harm Americans, and if he tries to do that, we’re going to be there to stand and say no,” Ellison added.
First Published | 14 November 2016 7:25 PM