Tennessee House speaker pushes back on ‘false narrative,’ racism accusations after expulsion of two Dems
After two Black Democratic state lawmakers were expelled for joining anti-gun demonstrations last week, protests again engulfed the Tennessee Capitol Thursday.
Democratic State Rep. Gloria Johnson survived her expulsion vote but has since accused Republicans of racism, arguing she only remained in her position because she’s White.
Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton, however, pushed back on those claims on “Fox & Friends” Friday.
“That’s a false narrative on her part,” Sexton (R) said. “It’s unfortunate. She’s trying to put political racism in this, which there was nothing on this. They were all given due process.”
DEMOCRAT LAWMAKER SUGGESTS SHE AVOIDED EXPULSION FROM TENNESSEE LEGISLATURE BECAUSE SHE IS WHITE
Johnson shared her thoughts on CNN Thursday after the expulsion hearings and vote.
“I think it’s pretty clear I’m a sixty-year-old white woman, and they are two young Black men. I was talked down to as a woman, man-splained to. But it was completely different from the questioning that they got,” Johnson said.
Sexton noted that Johnson “separated herself” from the protesters and that her attorney pointed out several instances which showed she was not an active participant.
“Actually, she separated herself from the other two and said, I didn’t have the megaphone. I didn’t yell and scream. I just stood there with them alongside it. And so she made her case that she…did not do what they did.”
CHAOS ERUPTS AGAIN AT TENNESSEE CAPITOL AMID VOTE TO EXPEL DEM LAWMAKERS FROM OFFICE OVER HOUSE FLOOR PROTEST
Johnson and the now-expelled Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones joined anti-gun protesters in storming the Capitol last week after a 28-year-old transgender person opened fire inside the Covenant School in Nashville, which killed six people, including three children.
The lawmakers were first stripped of committee assignments on Monday for their participation and then faced the expulsion vote Thursday where Pearson and Jones hit the threshold of votes needed for removal. Johnson survived by one vote.
In response to the proceedings, the Biden White House criticized the move from the Tennessee House.
“Today’s expulsion of lawmakers who engaged in peaceful protest is shocking, undemocratic and without precedent. Rather than debating the merits of the issues, these Republican lawmakers chose to punish, silence and expel duly elected representatives of the people of Tennessee,” a statement from the White House said.
Sexton defended the response to the state representatives’ involvement in the tumultuous anti-gun protests and issued a response to the administration’s criticism.
“In my house on the floor, since I’m speaker, we have rules, we have decorum, we have a process, we have procedures,” he said.
“Imagine that that happened on the congressional floor during his State of the Union address and people took over in front of him, pulled out a bullhorn and started leading the people in chants, a protest from the congressional floor. I don’t think he would approve of that.”
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“What they did was not right, and it deserved expulsion,” he said.
Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie, Kyle Morris nada Landon Mion contributed to this report.
Madeline Coggins is a Digital Production Assistant on the Fox News flash team with Fox News Digital.
I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.