VA Delegate Who Protested Trump Speech: He’s ‘Espousing All Sorts of Xenophobic Rhetoric and Hate’

On MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber, the Democratic Virginia legislator who protested at President Donald Trump’s Jamestown speech said he was motivated to speak out because Trump is “espousing all sorts of xenophobic rhetoric and hate.”

Earlier in the day, Ibraheem Samirah, a Virginia state delegate who is also Muslim, confronted Trump during a speech honoring the 400th anniversary of Jamestown’s democratic government, yelling out ‘You can’t send us back, Virginia is our home” while holding up a sign that read “Deport Hate.”

Speaking with MSNBC’s Melber, Samirah followed up on a statement he posted on Twitter, citing the experience of his parents, who are Palestinian refugees, and his state’s own democratic history as reasons why he felt compelled to protest.

“It was an extremely tough decision,” Samirah said, of his choice to interrupt the president’s speech. “This is a monumental celebration for Virginia. It’s the 400th anniversary of democracy, not just in Virginia, but in the entirety of the Western Hemisphere. And here we have a president coming and espousing all sorts of xenophobic rhetoric and hate and we have here a Jamestown, Virginia that stands for essentially immigrants coming to the Americas in pursuit of a better life. And the body which they created was supposed to be representative and democratic and upholding the values of Virginia and that which we have in on our seal: anti-tyrannical.”

Samirah’s act was loudly booed by the audience of mostly Trump supporters and the president subsequently complained that the press gave too much of its attention to Samirah and not his speech. Samirah’s protest has also drawn the ire of the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, who publicly condemned the interruption as a violation of state House rules.

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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