video: Whitehouse Faces Angry Crowd of Hundreds at Nathan Bishop Middle School in Providence

Monday, January 30, 2017


United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) met with an angry crowd of several hundred at a community dinner at Nathan Bishop in Providence on Sunday night.

Attendees expressed their frustrations on a number of issues, from Whitehouse's support of President Donald Trump's pick for CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, to Trump's recent actions in office including his controversial executive order on immigration, and more.

Hundreds were turned away from the initial question-and-answer session hosted by the Senator inside the auditorium, with dozens of people crammed into the foyer shouting, "Let us in," before Whitehouse went outside to address the crowd waiting outside for over thirty minutes. 

"Playing around with terms like 'America First' is wading into very dangerous territory," said Whitehouse, who spoke to his opposition to a number of Trump's positions -- and actions. 

And while the mostly liberal crowd implored Whitehouse not to support any more Trump nominees, conservatives in the crowd also came to make their voices heard (see video).

Responding to Pompeo

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A large crowd was turned away from the auditorium at Nathan Bishop Sunday evening; Whitehouse came out to speak following his remarks inside.

Whitehouse was pushed repeatedly on his vote for Pompeo, which had drawn the rebuke from Rhode Island progressives.

When asked about his vote, Whitehouse - repeatedly - told a story from the confirmation hearing of General James "Mad Dog" Mattis instead. 

Whitehouse said that there was a moment during the hearing where a former staffer said that they "needed to confirm protect against the Trump Whitehouse."

"You may be right, I may be wrong," Whitehouse told the audience, obliquely, in responding to the Pompeo question. "But this is about building a [group] of people who can push back and say no [to Trump]."

Whitehouse on Record

Following Sunday's event, Rhode Island Working Families said that they had Whitehouse as being on the record with the following:

"Whitehouse said he would cast “no” votes on Trump nominees to the following Cabinet posts," said RI Working Families. 

Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education
Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State
Jeff Sessions for Attorney General
Scott Pruitt for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
Rick Perry for Secretary of Energy
Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services
Mick Mulvaney for Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Ryan Zinke for Secretary of the Interior
Linda McMahon for Administrator of the Small Business Administration

"Whitehouse did not commit to casting “no” votes on Trump nominees to the remaining Cabinet posts," they added. 

Sonny Perdue for Secretary of Agriculture
Wilbur Ross for Secretary of Commerce
Ben Carson for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Elaine Chao for Secretary fo Transportation
David Shulkin for Secretary of Veteran Affairs
Robert Lighthizer for Trade Representative
Dan Coats for Director of National Intelligence
Any nominee to the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors


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