“How do you feel about destroying the country?” and “How does it feel to work for a fascist?” These were the questions asked by an Indian-American woman who confronted the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer at a local Apple store in Washington.
Shree Chauhan, 33, posted Saturday’s encounter on Twitter, showing Spicer’s reaction as she peppered him with questions.
The various social media posts by Chauhan, she was at the store to get her mobile phone repaired when she spotted Spicer.
Spicer reacted to the incident by saying that the US is a free country and people have the right to act however they want to.
Chauhan also asked Spicer about Russia and accused President Donald Trump of committing treason.
Chauhan described Spicer’s remarks as racist saying, “That is racism and it is an implied threat. Think about the sheer audacity of Spicer to say that to my face with a smile, knowing that he is being recorded on video and the position of power he holds in our government.”
According to the video, she asked Spicer, “Have you helped with the Russia stuff? Have you committed treason too, just like the president? What can you tell me about Russia....and how do you feel about destroying our country, Sean?”
She said she had lived in Washington DC for about a decade and during this time she had met several VVIPs at public places, including pharmacy and grocery stores, but did not interact with them.
“However, given what Spicer and his boss (Donald Trump) are doing to this country, I do not believe they are entitled to these norms and customs. Donald Trump and his Klan are openly trampling on the rule of law, our Constitution and our democracy,” she said.
At a news conference, Spicer said if people had questions, they should ask him.
“Ask it. I interact with individuals all day long. Ninety-nine per cent of them are pleasant, even with people who may not agree with our philosophy or programmes or whatever,” he said.
“But it’s a free country and the beauty of it is that people can act how they want no matter how that’s interpreted, and as long as they step on the right side of the First Amendment, we’re good,” he added.
The incident has drawn criticism from a top Indian-American donor of Trump’s presidential campaign, who called the woman’s behaviour as disgusting.
Chauhan is the founder and CEO of Parents in Partnership, an education startup that empowers parents to lead positive changes in schools and communities.
A native from Gujarat, Chauhan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from the University of Miami and she has Master of Public Administration degree from American University.