Congressman Lee Zeldin, who has been caught up in a flurry of controversy over the past few weeks after cancelling a town hall meeting at Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton, announced during an interview on CNN that he will hold a “tele-town hall” meeting this Thursday, February 23. Zeldin told CNN, “I’ve been doing them for years. It’s great. People love that. You get thousands of people on the phone. They literally don’t have to leave their own home.” Zeldin admitted to CNN that town hall meetings have grown confrontational in the wake of the controversial President Donald Trump taking office.
CNN New Day co-host Chris Cuomo asked Zeldin whether the tele-town hall was just another way to avoid in-person meetings with a potentially angry public, to which Zeldin responded that traditional town halls have too many “disrespectful” people who “want to get their 15 seconds of fame.” Zeldin added that “You have a lot of people asking for town halls with the purpose of disrupting a town hall.”
Zeldin’s unwillingness to hold traditional meetings may be fueled by comments made by Trump, who on Twitter said, “The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!”
The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2017
If you’re interested in hearing what Zeldin has to say, you can fill out an “opt-in” form on his website. The tele-town hall meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 23 at 7 p.m.