A protester threw a handful of small Russian flags at President Donald Trump on Tuesday as the president arrived at the Capitol to discuss tax reform with Republican senators over their weekly policy lunch.
“Trump is treason!” the protester, identified as Ryan Clayton, yelled several times before being escorted out by security.
Trump, walking alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), ignored the disruption as the flags fluttered to the ground several feet away from him in a hallway.
Clayton, a liberal activist who leads the group Americans Take Action, was in the press area as Trump walked by. It is unclear whether he had a legitimate press credential or a temporary pass to tour the Capitol.
Clayton was preliminarily charged with unlawful conduct, said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Capitol Police.
Americans Take Action describes itself as a “populist network formed to restore free and fair elections in America” whose “top priority is resisting the Trump regime.”
Clayton pulled a similar stunt earlier this year at the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington, where he distributed 1,000 Russian flags to audience members ahead of Trump’s speech there.
In an op-ed published by HuffPost, Clayton said he distributed flags at CPAC to “draw attention to the Russian interference in our most recent American election.” The meddling, he said, helped “to decide the outcome in favor of the Trump campaign.”
“Let’s be clear, Putin picked Trump because it’s good for Russia, not because he’s great for America,” he said.
This article has been updated with comment from the U.S. Capitol Police.