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Jordan confronts protesters, finds no common ground

Jordan Confronts Protesters, Finds No Common GroundChip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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FREMONT, Ohio (CNN) – Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan acknowledged protesters outside two events in his home district Monday — a break with many other Capitol Hill colleagues who have largely avoided such scenes — but was met with shouts of disapproval. The Ohio Republican, a 10-year veteran of the House and one of its most ardent conservatives, spoke with what his staff and protesters estimated were upward of 150 demonstrators in Marion, Ohio, at the historic home of former President Warren G. Harding. He then headed about an hour north where he talked briefly with a much smaller group of protesters at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library in Fremont, Ohio, before heading into a presidential trivia contest for children (which prompted his former Democratic opponent to claim he was using the kids as “human shields”).

Jordan’s tour of his sprawling Ohio district Monday showed the dilemma for lawmakers eyeing up a repeat of the tea party protests which swept Democrats out of power in Congress in 2010 — but with the fire and the threat coming from the left this time. And it also shows how deep the anger has bled into staunchly conservative territory. Jordan beat his Democratic opponent 68 percent-32 percent last year and President Donald Trump won the district by a similar margin. The first hint of trouble for Republicans came two weeks ago, when Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz was confronted by hundreds of angry protesters at his town hall. Since then, Republican lawmakers have canceled town halls, while others have split town entirely — heading on Congressional delegation trips to spots like the Mexican border and Europe. Meanwhile, some Republicans have fully embraced the fury: Rep. Mark Sanford huddled hundreds of protesters at his South Carolina town hall this past weekend, even walking outside to address an overflow crowd.

Jordan didn’t give it the “Full Sanford” Monday, but he did attempt some outreach — with varying success.

“They may not agree with me, we may share different perspectives,” Jordan said, as a group of protesters laughed outside the Hayes Library. (“No, we don’t agree with you,” yelled one woman, interrupting Jordan.)

“But they’re allowed under the first amendment to speak up, and my job is to listen and tell them where I’m at,” Jordan said, which resulted in one man mocking him: “Listen and give the party line, no real reasons, no in-depth analysis.”

The sight of hundreds of protesters packed outside the Harding presidential home earlier in the day was compelling enough, Jordan said, for him to take questions from the angry crowd. But protesters claimed they had to force him to address them. As Harding Home director Sherry Hall attempted to read through a history of Harding from the wraparound porch, with Jordan by her side, angry protesters chanted at the “Stop Reading!” and yelled “Hold a town hall!” according to video of the event taken by one group of protesters. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell implored his Republican colleagues last week to face protesters and address them (even though he isn’t hosting any town halls himself — opting instead for a trio of closed-door fundraisers).

But the House of Representatives’ chief security officer urged House lawmakers to coordinate police protection for their public events while they were back in their home states. (A pair of Fremont police cars pulled up to Jordan’s second event, but the small number of police just watched while a few dozen protesters milled around outside.)

The showdowns are likely to be a common sight this week — with town halls in Arkansas, New Jersey and Florida acting like magnets for irate Democrats and even some independents who stayed out of politics until Trump took the White House.

Cheryl Laugherty, 62, a retired librarian from Fremont, Ohio, said she didn’t get active in protesting until Trump emerged as a force last year. Since his election, she’s been organizing with other women in northwest Ohio, and stood with a small group protesting Jordan in Fremont.

“It’s been off and on through the years, but his (Trump’s) behavior on the campaign trail this year just clinched it for me. I could not tolerate the way, like he made fun of the handicapped columnist, just things he said,” Laugherty said. “And it hasn’t changed, the belittling of people and the nicknames. It’s juvenile. It’s juvenile bullying.”

Jordan said Monday that it’s up to other Republicans to decide what they want to do, but suggested they honor the First Amendment and hear out the protesters. But Laugherty and others gathered outside the Hayes home Monday quickly pointed out that Jordan has yet to schedule any town halls himself.

Two D. Webster hoops players charged after fight at game

Posted: Feb. 19, 2017 8:00 am

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) Police have charged two members of the Daniel Webster men’s basketball team after a fight during a game that required 25 officers to restore order. Nashua authorities say guard Marquise Caudill assaulted a player from the opposing team Saturday and threatened an officer working a security detail who tried to stop him. They also said teammate Antwaun Boyd appeared to be inciting an already hostile crowd that had surrounded the officer. According to its website, Southern Vermont was playing Daniel Webster, which forfeited the game.

The 22-year-old Caudill, of Windsor, Connecticut, is being held on $50,000 cash bail on assault, criminal threatening and disorderly conduct charges. The 23-year-old Boyd, from Stamford, Connecticut, was charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, and released after bail was posted. It wasn’t immediately known if either is represented by a lawyer.

One other person, 43-year-old Elizabeth Morris of Malden, Massachusetts, also was charged in connection with the disturbance. She was released after bail was posted.

JFK Airport Security Breach: 11 Stroll Through Deserted TSA Checkpoint, Board Planes

JOHN F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, NY Eleven airline passengers strolled through a Terminal 5 security checkpoint at JFK Airport that had been deserted by federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents in the early-morning hours of the Presidents Day holiday, and are believed to have boarded their flights without proper screening, airport officials told Patch. At least three of the passengers set off the metal detector, but were not screened afterward, according to the TSA. Only three of the 11 improperly screened passengers had been identified as of Monday afternoon. These three boarded a plane to California, and will be screened once their plane touches down, according to the Port Authority (the state agency that runs JFK Airport).

It was unknown by 4 p.m. Monday if any of the passengers posed a security threat to others aboard their flights. Despite all this uncertainty, TSA officials insisted: “We are confident this incident presents minimal risk to the aviation transportation system.”

Two full hours passed after the 6 a.m. breach before “a TSA supervisor discovered and alerted Port Authority Police to the lapse,” the Port Authority said in a stern statement Monday that lowkey blamed federal security officials for the breach. Beginning around 8 a.m., Port Authority cops scrambled to locate the 11 people who had walked through the checkpoint while it was deserted to no avail.

“It is believed the travelers in question boarded various flights,” a Port Authority spokesman said.

“Police were able by video to identify three people who got on a flight to California, where they will be screened upon arrival,” the Port Authority spokesman said Monday afternoon. “Port Authority Police are continuing to assist federal authorities in efforts to identify and locate the other eight passengers.”

The TSA, meanwhile, would not confirm the Port Authority’s 11 count, and overall played down the security breach in a statement sent to Patch:

The Transportation Security Administration is reviewing reports of a possible security incident this morning at John F Kennedy International Airport Terminal 5.

Early reports indicate 3 passengers did not receive required secondary screening after alarming the walk through metal detector. All personal carry-on bags received required screening. A K9 team was present at the checkpoint at the time of the incident. TSA conducted security measures at the passengers’ arrival airport.

TSA works with a network of security layers both seen and unseen. We are confident this incident presents minimal risk to the aviation transportation system.Once our review is complete, TSA will take appropriate action.

Patch sent followup emails to the Port Authority and the TSA late Monday, asking for further explanation on the discrepancies between both agencies’ narratives.

Port Authority Police spokesman Joe Pentangelo did not immediately respond.

Below is TSA spokesman Bruce Anderson’s response.

Everyone who went through that checkpoint was screened. A supervisor saw 11 passengers go through and immediately sent another supervisor to review CCTV to be able to track the passengers down.Three of them should have received secondary screening because they alarmed the metal detector. We focused on those three. Based on available information we determined they presented minimal risk to aviation security.I need to emphasize that ALL of the passengers walked past an explosives detection K9 and ALL of the passengers had their carry-on bags screened.

The TSA is a federal agency run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the Donald Trump administration. The Port Authority, meanwhile, is controlled by New York and New Jersey state government officials.

We’ll update this post with anything else we find out about the Presidents Day security breach at JFK.

This is a developing story. Refresh the page for the latest.

Lead photo by Kyle McCarthy[1]/Flickr

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