These were not friendly skies.
Viral video footage shows Sen. Mitt Romney being heckled with chants of “Traitor! Traitor!” during a flight from Salt Lake City to Washington, D.C. The Utah Republican has said that he will vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory when Congress meets to count the Electoral College votes and certify the 2020 presidential election result on Wednesday. That isn’t sitting well with some GOP voters.
President Trump caught wind of the turbulent trip, and mused “I wonder if he enjoyed his flight in last night?” while speaking at a rally in D.C. on Wednesday to oppose the election results.
Before Romney even boarded the flight, another widely shared video making the rounds on social media on Wednesday morning showed a woman — maskless at first, until Romney insists that she pull her protective face covering up — confronting the senator in an airport waiting area, and demanding to know, “Why aren’t you supporting President Trump?”
Romney, in the video, responds that he does, in fact, agree with many of the things that Trump stands for, yet he has a duty to follow the Constitution in confirming Biden’s win.
“It’s a long story, but it’s a constitutional process, and the Constitution is clear,” Romney says. “I will follow the Constitution, and I will explain all that when we meet in Congress this week.”
“You were voted in as a conservative to represent the conservative constituents — period,” the woman counters, to which Romney responds, “Actually, that’s not how the Constitution works.”
The constituent presses that Romney was, too, voted into office to representative conservatives. “You work for us,” she says. Romney replies that he works for the people of Utah, and that the constituent confronting him “is not the only one” whom he represents.
Romney walks away as the woman calls him “an absolute joke” and says the situation is “a disgusting shame.”
In-flight footage showing a cabin full of passengers chanting “Traitor!” also went viral overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. One woman, whose face mask was pulled down, can be heard accusing Romney of connections to the Ukrainian oil company Burisma and to President-elect Biden.
Overnight, Trump supporters clashed with police in Washington, D.C., ahead of the president’s planned rally preceding the Electoral College vote count in Congress, which is set to officially confirm Biden as the 46th president.
A dozen Republican senators have said they plan to formally challenge the electoral results submitted by battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia, which Romney has criticized as an “egregious ploy” that “dangerously threatens our Democratic republic.”
Trump’s refusal to accept defeat in the two-plus months since Election Day has split the Republican Party, with GOP lawmakers like Lisa Murkowski and Pat Toomey — representing Alaska and Pennsylvania, respectively, in the Senate — also among those committed to affirming the election.
Democrats were on the verge of taking control of the Senate early Wednesday, following the two Georgia runoff elections that were projected to go to Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.
“It turns out that telling the voters that the election was rigged is not a great way to turn out your voters,” Romney said in a Wednesday morning press conference. “President Trump has disrespected the American voters, has dishonored the election system and has disgraced the office of the presidency.”