STATEN ISLAND — Rep. Dan Donovan says he won't hold a public town hall meeting on healthcare — blaming "professional protesters" who he says disrupted an unrelated event last month.
Donovan, who represents Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, made the comments Friday on CNN, saying after protesters shouted him down last month at a Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce meeting, he was no longer willing to hold public meetings, according to a transcript posted by Talking Points Memo.
"The event was taken over by professional protesters, 40 of which had to be taken out," Donovan said on the station. "So I've been doing teletown hall meetings where I speak to 14,000 families two weeks ago, in the comfort of their home, people with childcare needs, caring for elderly parents, were able to participate without disruption."
Tongue-in-cheek missing posters went up on both sides of the Verrazano earlier this month after the Republican congressman refused residents' requests to host a town hall about healthcare. The decision was also met with protests at both of his offices.
A spokesman for Donovan said the congressman met with many of the groups who have protested him individually and isn't hiding from them.
Donovan also said in the interview he hasn't made up his mind on how he'll vote on the GOP healthcare bill, which President Trump is trying to push through quickly.
But Donovan said that he is willing to hold more town halls in the future, as long as the crowd is orderly.
"When the rhetoric calms down, when the people who want to just obstruct stop obstructing, I will do it again," Donovan said.