Protesters disrupt RNC attendees following Trump speech

A protester screams at police officers from a fence near the White House on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention, Thursday evening, Aug. 27, 2020, in Washington, while President Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech from the nearby White House South Lawn.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following President Donald Trump’s speech accepting the Republican Party’s nomination on Thursday night from the White House, many of the speech’s attendees reported harassment from protesters when leaving the venue.

“It was insane. They were surrounding people, smacking their phones out of their hands, screaming at the elderly,” said an NCGOP staffer who attended the event. “We couldn’t get back to the hotel because of the protesters outside and inside the hotel.”

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said he was “attacked by an angry mob of over 100, one block away from the White House,” and he thanked police for “literally saving our lives from a crazed mob.”

In a television appearance on Friday, Paul linked the encounter with the protesters to lawlessness and a movement to defund police departments and said nobody would be safe in America if Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, wins the White House.

The protesters were shouting for the Kentucky senator to acknowledge Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police officers in her Louisville apartment. Protesters on Friday shouted “No Justice, No Peace” and “Say Her Name” before one clashed with an officer, pushing him and his bike backward, sending the officer into Paul.

Paul said he has written a law to end no-knock raids. “So,” he said, “the irony is lost on these idiots.”

Paul said there’s “something going on here” and the FBI “needs to be involved.”

“I promise you that at least some of the members and the people who attacked us were not from D.C.,” he said. “They flew here on a plane. They’ve all got fresh new clothes, and they were paid to be here. It’s a crime to do that, and it needs to be traced. The FBI needs to investigate.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.