Donald Trump’s acting deputy secretary of homeland security was called “the son of immigrant grandparents who cages children for a fascist president” on Wednesday night, by a man who forced him to leave a Capitol Hill bar on Thanksgiving eve.
That man was Martin O’Malley, former Baltimore mayor, governor of Maryland and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
It was the latest in a string of incidents in which angry opponents of Trump have confronted members of his administration in public.
In June 2018, then White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was famously asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia. Senior adviser Stephen Miller, the force behind Trump’s hardline immigration policies, has been confronted numerous times.
Such incidents have led to debate about the need for civility in US public life – particularly after Trump himself was booed at a World Series game in Washington in October. The first lady, Melania Trump, was booed in Baltimore on Tuesday, when she delivered remarks at a conference on the opioid epidemic.
In messages sent to the Washington Post after the Wednesday night incident at the Dubliner bar, O’Malley was unrepentant.
A Twitter user who met O’Malley at the pub first reported the incident, writing: “Martin O’Malley just drove Ken Cuccinelli out of the Dubliner in DC [with] a passion-laced and shame-invoking tirade on behalf of immigrant refugee children!!!”firings
Siobhan Houton Arnold later told the Post: “O’Malley was shouting. I don’t think Cuccinelli was responding. I think he’s like, ‘Time to go. Just got here and I’m leaving.’ He pretty much retreated.”
O’Malley told the Post he had not shouted, but had raised his voice to be heard in a busy bar as he gathered with fellow members of his class at Gonzaga, a Catholic high school in Washington from which Cuccinelli also graduated.
He wanted to talk about Trump immigration policy which has led to family separations at the southern border and controversy over the conditions in which migrants of all ages are held.