PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Protesters at the Democratic National Convention heckled Leon Panetta, the former defense secretary and CIA director who served alongside the party’s presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in President Barack Obama’s cabinet.
His speech was interrupted by a screaming match between attendees, exposing an apparent rift among Democrats when it comes to America’s foreign policy.
Some attendees drowned out Panetta’s remarks, yelling, “No more war!” They also shouted, “Lies!”
Others yelled, “USA!”
— Bryce (@Bryce_Chandler) July 28, 2016
No more war chanters holdings up iPhone lights to protest DNC cutting their lights pic.twitter.com/WVLxEELOvV
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) July 28, 2016
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 28, 2016
The chanters appeared to be supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
“Panetta ignored Hillary Clinton’s rush to war in the Middle East and her deadly and calamitous invasion of Libya which further proves her a reckless risk too grave for any American family,” Stephen Miller, a senior policy adviser to the Trump campaign, said in a statement.
President Obama, with the help of Panetta and Clinton, prolonged the war in Afghanistan and started a new one in Iraq despite his campaign promises to end both conflicts.
More U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan under Obama’s watch than under his predecessor.
During his speech, Panetta condemned Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for the comments he made about Russia earlier Wednesday.
Donald Trump today once again took Russia’s side. He asked the Russians to interfere in American politics…
Trump who wants to be president of the United States is asking one of our adversaries to engage in hacking…against the United States of America to affect an election…
It is inconceivable to me that any presidential candidate would be that irresponsible. I say this out of a firm concern for the future of my children and my grandchildren Donald Trump cannot become our commander in chief.
Some in the crowd did boo and cheer following his criticism of Trump.
Trump has been accused in the mainstream media of inviting Russia to hack Clinton’s email.
“They probably have her 33,000 emails. I hope they do. They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted because you’d see some beauties there. So let’s see,” the GOP nominee said at a news conference in Florida, referring to emails that Clinton judged as personal and did not hand over to the government from her private server, which she used for official business.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” he added.
Steven Cheung, Trump’s rapid response director, denied that his boss had encouraged Russia to “launch an espionage operation,” as has been reported by some media outlets.
He said Trump had “absolutely not” done so. “What he intended was hand them over, yes. But inviting” goes too far, he added. “I think that’s a completely ridiculous thing to say that he’s inviting a country to hack a presidential candidates’ emails.”
Referring to the Trump’s Russia comments, retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John Hutson, who left the GOP to endorse Obama in 2008, said during his speech at the convention, “That’s criminal.”