NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch claimed on Thursday that the crowd of shooting survivors in attendance at CNN’s gun control town hall on Wednesday night had threatened to hurt her, forcing her to flee the event with her husband to avoid any danger.
“I had to have a security detail to get out,” Loesch said, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland. “I wouldn’t have been able to exit if I didn’t have a private security detail. There were people rushing the stage and screaming ‘burn her.’ And I came there to talk solutions, and I still am going to continue that conversation on solutions, as the NRA has been doing since before I was alive.”
God Bless this woman and everything she does to help defend our 2A!
Full Speech: https://t.co/O0byOItzOz
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) February 22, 2018
Loesch had been invited to the CNN town hall to address questions from survivors of a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last week that left 17 people dead. The majority of the exchanges were heated, but most remained civil, with the occasional booing from the crowd.
Video taken by Twitter user “Michelle” (@hope4tigers) on Wednesday night does appear to show Loesch being escorted from the BB&T Center stage by security detail, however the footage does not show any town hall attendees “rushing” the stage, as Loesch claimed, and audience members can be heard chanting “shame on you,” not “burn her.”
Still, it’s not clear what may have happened after the video ended or if any attendees “rushed” or threatened Loesch at that point.
We use words not weapons pic.twitter.com/QdUKLujm2k
— Michelle (@hope4tigers) February 22, 2018
Additional footage from CNN digital reporter Emanuella Grinberg shows the crowd booing and pointing fingers at Loesch as she leaves the stage.
— Emanuella Grinberg (@grinsli) February 22, 2018
Loesch’s claims were echoed earlier in the morning by her husband, Chris, who said during his own CPAC panel on “fake news” that the couple had been forced to flee the town hall event to avoid danger.
Loesch has previously been criticized for her participation in a number of NRA ads which some have deemed threatening. In a video last spring, Loesch claimed that progressives and the media were a danger to American society, stopping just short of calling for violence against them.
“They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. … And then they use their ex-president to endorse the resistance. All to make them march, make them protest, make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia and smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law abiding — until the only option left is for police to do their jobs and stop the madness,” she said. “And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.”
Loesch later claimed that liberals and the press had overreacted to the ad, saying in a Periscope video, “The language of the left is violence and it has been because they think it’s an acceptable form of protest.”