Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers hosted her first town hall of the year Thursday night in Spokane. According to the Town Hall Project, which tracks these events across the nation, she’s the first Republican member of Congress from Washington or Oregon to hold a town hall event in 2017.
About 100 people gathered on the street outside the Gonzaga University venue an hour before the town hall began. Most of them held signs voicing concerns about health care. Inside the venue, the issue of health care also brought the most questions.
But it was the congresswoman’s comments on the Trump administration and concerns about North Korea that drew the most ire.
“I’m pleased to see a president that is taking this very seriously,” McMorris Rodgers said to jeers and booing from the audience.
Many in the crowd were holding red cards, which they waived in the air as a sign that they did not agree.
When asked by why she supports President Donald Trump, McMorris Rodgers said, “because he is a disruptor.” She also described the president as “a very humble man.” Her response prompted catcalling, yelling and a profanity-laced reaction that got one man thrown out.
McMorris Rodgers said the United States “needs strong and decisive leadership.”
She was also asked about the refugee crisis and the nation’s immigration policies.
“It all goes to a broken immigration system,” she said. She told the audience she supports defunding sanctuary cities. McMorris Rodgers has called for securing the border, reforming the the country’s visa program and reevaluating its refugee program.
The town hall was free, but only 300 tickets were available and those who attended had to prove they were residents in Washington’s 5th congressional district. Over 650,000 people live in the 5th.