Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) defended left-wing activists engaging in extreme tactics like haranguing Republicans in restaurants, saying Sunday that people are "very much motivated by what is going on."
CNN's Dana Bash asked Hirono about the political climate over the contentious confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which included not just protests in the Capitol but activists harassing Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and his wife Heidi while they dined in a Washington restaurant. People also showed up at the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and chanted while drinking beer to mock Kavanaugh.
Hirono chuckled as Bash quoted President Donald Trump blasting Democratic protesters as an "angry mob."
"It is one thing to protest at the Supreme Court ... it's another thing to run senators out of restaurants, go to their homes. Is that going too far?" Bash asked.
"I think that it just means that there are a lot of people who are very, very much motivated by what is going on, because what happened with Judge Kavanaugh is from the very beginning, this was not a fair process," she said.
Hirono claimed Republicans didn't "want to hear from" Christine Blasey Ford, although she was given ample opportunity by the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify privately or publicly about her claim that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party in 1982. She wound up testifying at a public hearing, but Hirono said Republicans rigged the hearing.
"Should the going after people at restaurants stop?" Bash asked.
"Well, this is what happens, you know, because when you look at white supremacists and all of that, this is what is coming forth in our country," Hirono said. "There is a tremendous divisiveness in our country, but this is the kind of activism that occurs, and people make their own decisions. If they violate the law, then they have to account for that."
Hirono rose to national prominence during the Kavanaugh confirmation process, at one point snapping at a press conference that men should "just shut up and step up" with regard to the sexual assault accusation leveled against the judge. She also suggested she didn't believe Kavanaugh's denial of Ford's charge because of his conservative jurisprudence.
Like other Democratic senators, she repeatedly demanded an FBI investigation into the allegations; after the White House ordered one, she condemned it as a "farce."
Twitter user @tomselliott flagged Hirono's comments on CNN.
Sen. @maziehirono defends harassing GOP lawmakers in restaurants: Our activists are "very, very much motivated about what is going on ... this is the kind of activism that occurs" pic.twitter.com/o5HpYarSHA
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 7, 2018