On January 4, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) reminded Twitter followers that she had been dragged out of a Trump campaign speech in 2016 after repeatedly attempting to disrupt it. A supporter had just tweeted Tlaib’s account of the event, in August 2016, which was published by the Detroit Free Press.
For people who have only recently heard of @RashidaTlaib and are just shocked, shocked I tell you… don’t be.
Rep. Tlaib is exactly who her district voted for. She represents a constituency that wants to #ITMFA .https://t.co/E0B9bzs4Lb
— Ben Pulver (@revlupneb) January 5, 2019
Tlaib retweeted it, clearly proud of her work. It’s pretty standard fare, describing how frightened she was in the “tony” setting (the Detroit Economic Club), but how her great love for her sons, and the inspiration of Rosa Parks and Coleman Young, gave her courage to shout at Trump.
Watching my 11-year old’s anxiety increase the more he hears from his friends about what Donald Trump said or wants to do if he is elected has been heartbreaking. So when I heard Trump was coming to Detroit to speak only a few miles from our home, I couldn’t say no when I was offered a ticket to attend his speech.
I told Trump that “our children deserve better” and I asked him to provide a better example to our kids. I implored him to read the U.S. Constitution. And then I was grabbed by several security personnel who physically moved me to the exit while I continued to express my concerns.
The day before the January 4 tweet, at a MoveOn.org reception, Tlaib announced that she had told her 11-year-old son she was headed to Congress to “impeach the mother**cker” (i.e., the president of the United States). The reminder of her prior heroism didn’t seem to tamp down the media furor over that comment – a comment we can guess was probably not what Rosa Parks would do.
The backstory on her appearance at the Trump event only reinforces the overall impression of Tlaib as a rabble-rouser. She was part of a group of “nearly 20 women” (and one man) who attended the Trump speech at the behest of several activist organizations: the Michigan Peoples Campaign, Michigan United, and Moms Against Trump. Describing her motives to a local reporter afterward, Tlaib dragged her son into it again:
Former State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who is also a member of Moms Against Trump, spoke out during the speech. Tlaib told Trump that she was disgusted by his cavalier response to receiving an honorary Purple Heart from an elderly veteran.
“He just taught my children that it’s OK to take a Purple Heart from an elderly man who served our country and could have died,” Tlaib said. “He just waves it up and down like it was nothing. And to me, that taught my son a terrible lesson.”
Tlaib continually pressed Trump on the issue, yelling “give back the Purple Heart, you didn’t earn it.”
Interestingly, meanwhile, it appears that Tlaib and the other protesters were gotten into the Trump event under false pretenses.
The speech – a major campaign address on Trump’s economic policies and vision – was sponsored by the Detroit Economic Club, which allowed members to obtain tickets for guests. But the “member” who got Tlaib and her fellow protesters in had only just applied for membership, claiming to represent a high-profile company from which he had actually been fired some time before.
More than a dozen hecklers who interrupted Donald Trump’s economic address Monday at the Cobo Center were invited by a man who “fraudulently” obtained a new membership to the Detroit Economic Club, President and CEO Beth Chappell said Tuesday.
In a message to members, Chappell said the DEC has apologized to the Trump campaign for a protest facilitated by a 23-year-old man who applied for a new membership under the name of a “very reputable company” from which he was fired two years ago.
Tlaib was also arrested during her own campaign for the House of Representatives, in October 2018, at a “Fight for $15” rally in Detroit.