Sen. John McCain issued a strong rebuke to a group of antiwar protesters who disrupted a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday morning.
“Get out of here, you low-life scum,” the Arizona Republican told a group of about a dozen demonstrators with the group Code Pink.
Carrying a banner and several small signs, the Code Pink members, a fixture of many hearings on Capitol Hill, called for the arrest of Henry Kissinger, the secretary of state under President Richard Nixon, who was called to testify at the hearing about U.S. national security strategy.
Kissinger was joined on the panel by former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and George Shultz.
“Arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes!” Code Pink members chanted.
“In the name of the people of Chile. In the name of the people of Vietnam. In the name of the people of East Timor. In the name of the people of Cambodia. In the name of the people of Laos,” chanted one protester.
McCain eventually quieted the group and got in the last word.
“I’ve been a member of this committee for many years, and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place,” McCain said.
“You know, you’re going to have to shut up, or I’m going to have you arrested. If we can’t get the Capitol Hill Police in here immediately.”
“Get out of here, you low-life scum,” he said, before apologizing to Kissinger.