Chasing Senators Into Bathrooms Is ‘Inappropriate And Unacceptable,’ Psaki Says

Screenshot/YouTube/CNBC Television

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
Font Size:

White House press secretary Jen Psaki condemned activists who chased Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema into a bathroom to protest her opposition to a $3.5 trillion bill Monday.

Footage emerged on Sunday of protesters at Arizona State University (ASU) chasing Sinema into a college bathroom and harassing her from outside a locked bathroom stall. Many on the left rushed to defend the protesters, arguing that Sinema was holding up her own party’s priorities. Fox News White House reporter Peter Doocy pressed Psaki to elaborate on President Joe Biden’s position on the incident.

“The president said today, ‘I don’t think they were appropriate tactics, but it happens to everybody and it’s part of the process,” Doocy stated. “He is an expert on the process. Has he ever been chased into a restroom by activists?” (RELATED: Biden Claims His Build Back Better Agenda ‘Costs Zero Dollars.’ Economists Are Less Convinced)

“I think the context of what happened here is very important,” Psaki responded. “As [Sinema] said, and I would reiterate from here, the protection of the freedom to protest, to speak out and to criticize is fundamental to our democracy. The president believes that. Maybe he shorthanded it, but he wanted to make that clear this morning.”

Psaki went on to add that the breach of the safety of Sinema’s ASU classroom was “inappropriate and unacceptable.”

“So does the president condemn these protesters that chased her into the restroom?” Doocy pressed.

“I just said it was inappropriate and unacceptable,” Psaki responded.

Protesters at ASU confronted Sinema following her class at the university last week, demanding time to speak with her. She told the activists that she was busy and then proceeded into the restroom and entered a stall.

“We need a Build Back Better plan right now,” one protester told Sinema as she opened the bathroom door. The activists continued to film while standing outside of Sinema’s stall.

“We need to hold you accountable for what you promised to pass when we knocked on doors for you,” another activist told Sinema as she washed her hands.

Some on the left applauded the harassment from the activists.

Sinema released a longs statement responding to the incident on Monday.