Connecticut official slammed for taking a knee to protest Trump during pledge

A local Democratic lawmaker in Connecticut is under fire after she took a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance in protest of President Trump.

Haddam, Conn., Selectwoman Melissa Schlag knelt during the Pledge of Allegiance during a Board of Selectmen meeting on July 16. The protest was in response to Trump’s comments after his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

“I felt nervous when I did it but I also felt powerful,” Schlag told the Hartford Courant. “If I don’t speak up, those who can’t won’t be heard.”

Schlag’s protest has drawn considerable backlash in the small town, with some saying she was disrespectful to the flag.

“The Pledge of Allegiance doesn’t have anything to do with the flag, in my opinion,” Schlag told FOX61. “I believe in our country. I love our flag and the United States of America.”

But Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Herbst, a former Trumbull, Conn., mayor, blasted Schlag’s protest as “appalling” and called for her resignation.

“She needs to resign immediately,” Herbst said on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday. “One of the things the flag stands for—it stands for our freedom, it stands for our democracy. It stands for the fundamental ideal that we can have differences of opinion, but we all stand in respect of our flag because many people, including my 93-year-old grandfather who’s a veteran, fought in defense of the very liberty that the flag resembles.”

Herbst added that Schlag’s actions were “reflective” of the last eight years in the state under Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration. Herbst accused Democrats of having a “complete lack of respect” for the country.

Herbst added: “When Barack Obama was president, I didn’t vote for him. I wasn’t happy about it, but I respected the office of president, and I think people need to respect the office of president.” 

Trump faced bipartisan criticism over his summit and press conference with Putin last week, where Trump initially seemed to accept the Russian leader's denial of meddling in the 2016 American election. Trump later claimed he misspoke and said he accepts the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia interfered in the election. 

Schlag’s protest, adopting the practice of NFL players protesting police violence, was not her first flag controversy. From 2013 to 2015, when Schlag served as first selectwoman, she had both the United States and Connecticut flags removed from her office.

“Both flags were taken down because I rearranged the furniture and I put a bookcase where the flags were,” Schlag explained to FOX61.

Schlag, who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., during the 2016 presidential election, told the Hartford Courant that she received a strong response from her constituents this week—some in support, and some against her decision to kneel.

“I didn’t kneel because I hated my country,” Schlag told the Courant. “I knelt because I love my country.”

Schlag did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.


Eric Holder: ‘I’m thinking about’ running against Trump

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday night he is considering challenging President Trump in 2020.

“I’m thinking about it,” the former Obama official told Stephen Colbert on his late night show.

Colbert asked Holder about a potential run by reading a tweet by journalist April Ryan, who reported last week that the former attorney general was “seriously considering” a run for the White House.

“What I’ve said is that I’d make a determination sometime early next year. My focus, really, now is on 2018, the midterms and trying to make sure that Democrats take back the Senate, take back the House and that we do well, importantly, at the state level,” he said.

Holder was in New Hampshire in early June, sparking speculation that he’d run for the White House because that state hold the country's first primary each election cycle.


Trey Gowdy: Trump’s Aides Need To ‘Re-Evaluate’ Staying After His Summit Remarks

The evidence of Russian interference is “overwhelming,” the GOP congressman said.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s advisers should consider leaving the White House if Trump continues to publicly disparage the nation’s intelligence community and cast doubt on the evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

“The president either needs to rely on the people that he has chosen to advise him, or those advisers need to re-evaluate whether or not they can serve in this administration,” Gowdy said on Fox News Sunday, referring to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley. “But the disconnect cannot continue. The evidence is overwhelming and the president needs to say that and act like it.”

Trump said Monday at a press conference during his Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin that he didn’t see why Russia would be involved with election interference. He walked back that statement a day later, saying he’d meant to say he didn’t see why Russia wouldn’t be involved.

But Gowdy said his issues with Trump’s performance went beyond that one line. Trump, in his press conference comments, also gave credence to Putin’s denials of Russian efforts to subvert U.S. politics and did not stand up the contrary findings of his administration’s top intelligence officials.

“The president missed, I think, a really good opportunity to distinguish the United States from any other country but especially from Russia,” Gowdy said.

Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has previously backed the U.S. intelligence community’s findings on Russia and actions taken by the FBI in its investigations of the matter.

“There is no way you can listen to the evidence and not conclude, not that the Democrats were the victims, but the United States of America were the victims. We were the victims of what Russia did in 2016,” he said on Sunday.

“It ought to be a source of unity and rallying around the fact that we are never going to allow this to happen again and we’re going to punish those who try to do it,” Gowdy said. “And there was this equivocation [by Trump] during the press conference. I’m glad [Trump] corrected it. But when you’re the leader of the free world, every syllable matters, and you really shouldn’t be having to correct it when you’re the leader of the free world.”



The Opinion Poll

Parents for breaking the law - 58.8%
Federal government for enforcing the law - 41.2%
National Weather

Click on map for forecast