Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz was home in his district Thursday night to hold a town hall at a high school in the suburbs of Salt Lake City. It did not go well. The crowd well exceeded the auditorium’s 1,000-person capacity, and the event kicked off to chants of “kick him out!” (re: Chaffetz) mixed with “let them in!” (re: the some 1,000 person overflow crowd locked out of the event). The crowd that did make it inside roiled with anger, asking pointed questions on the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act, violence against women, Chaffetz’s refusal, as the GOP chairman of the House oversight committee, to investigate President Trump’s apparent conflicts of interest and Russian election meddling, as well as his stated desire to sell off local public lands.
Crowd boos Chaffetz as he walks onstage pic.twitter.com/sywcwZ6pd8— Courtney Tanner (@CourtneyLTanner) February 10, 2017
Crowd in auditorium shouting "let them in" pic.twitter.com/9twf0etUbG— Courtney Tanner (@CourtneyLTanner) February 10, 2017
Chaffetz’s answers were almost universally showered with chants, jeers, and boos.
At one point, Chaffetz told the crowd: “You’re not going to like this part: The president, under the law, is exempt from conflict of interest laws.” Late in the meeting, a young girl brought the house down when she asked Chaffetz: "Do you believe in science? Because I do." Chaffetz gamely answered questions for about an hour before heading for the exit. Outside, as the town hall wrapped up, protesters chanted “bring him out!” and “this is what democracy looks like!”