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House Republicans faced criticism on social media after they heckled and booed a reporter asking about efforts to overturn the 2020 election ahead of the vote that would eventually elect Rep Mike Johnson (R-LA) to be the next speaker of the House after weeks of chaos.
The moment took place late on Tuesday night during a press conference after the House Republicans had chosen Mr Johnson as their next nominee on an internal ballot ahead of Wednesday’s vote of the full House.
“Mr Johnson, you helped lead the efforts to overturn the 2020 election result,” Rachel Scott of ABC News asked.
Mr Johnson was one of 147 House Republicans who voted to object to the results in key states won by then-candidate Joe Biden.
In December 2020, Mr Johnson, a lawyer by trade, filed an amicus brief on behalf of himself and 125 other House Republicans for a lawsuit filed by Texas to overturn the election results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Despite his hard-right bent, many Republicans from swing districts cast their vote for him on the floor enthusiastically.
On Tuesday night, Ms Scott was quickly interrupted by jeers and boos.
“Shut up,” Rep Virginia Foxx (R-NC), 80, told Ms Scott.
“Do you support additional aid to Ukraine?” Ms Scott later asked.
“You asked your question. Go away. Go away,” Ms Scott said.
House Republicans quickly faced criticism for dismissing the inquiries from Ms Scott.
“Introducing extremist GOP Speaker nominee Mike Johnson. He was a key architect of the Jan 6th strategy to overturn the US election. Here he is leading a crowd that’s booing and telling a Congressional correspondent to “shut up” when asking about it,” Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) wrote on X.
“Elected Republicans are terrified that Americans will remember exactly who they are,” actor Jon Cryer said.
“I really dislike these people,” former Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) added. “Everyone is being thrown in jail for this lie and they smile like clowns.”
“There isn’t one loyal American shown in this video. This is the face of fascism,” broadcaster Keith Olbermann said.
Former GOP strategist Rick Wilson wrote: “This should be the only question asked. The utter contempt of these people deserves no less.”
CNN legal analyst Norm Eisen added: “The attempted coup failed to hang onto the White House. But it has seized the House of Representatives. Make no mistake about the danger to American democracy.”