TYLER, Texas (KETK) – U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert has responded to reports that some of his supporters were involved in fights that broke out during protests in Tyler on Sunday.
The protests were held by two groups with different agendas. One event was organized by Hank Gilbert, who is running against Gohmert in the November election. Their goal was to oppose the use of federal forces to control the streets of Portland. The other group was there to support law enforcement using the name “Back the Blue.”
Congressman Gohmert said in an interview with KETK News that he can’t tell who started the altercations but said: “If somebody’s going to try to bring the violence of the protests in Portland to East Texas, there are going to be East Texans that show up and say we do not want this kind of stuff here because we support our law enforcement.”
Rep. Gohmert also said that he was on his way back to Washington, D.C. and was unaware of the counterprotest by his supporters, saying: “I don’t know who it was” and that it was hard to say who started it.
Gilbert claimed on social media after the incident that Gohmert’s supporters initiated at least one fight.
Gohmert, while not directly mentioning Gilbert, said that “For someone to try to bring the violent protests from Portland and bring that East Texas is absolute nonsense… I don’t know what to say to somebody that would be that stupid.”
Gilbert calls the use of federal agents in Portland an “unconstitutional overstep.”