CLEVELAND, Ohio (WANE) – A woman who interrupted Donald Trump’s presidential nomination acceptance speech on the last night of the Republican National Convention was stopped in her tracks by a man named Mitch Harper.
Yes, the same Mitch Harper who served two terms on Fort Wayne City Council. The same Mitch Harper, who at the age of 22, was elected to serve in the Indiana House of Representatives.
Harper spent the week in Cleveland as a journalist covering the RNC on his social media pages and his website, Fort Wayne Observed.
The republican, whose social media accounts proudly display selfies from around Cleveland the convention – found himself on national television ripping down a protester who stood up, chanted and held a flag during Trump’s speech to millions of viewers.
Harper spoke to 24-Hour News 8’s sister station, WANE, by phone shortly after the convention ended.
He said the woman came into the area with someone else and sat in an area designated for “special press.” Harper speculated she had someone’s press credentials, although that could not be confirmed. Harper said the two sat during Trump’s speech and that in the middle of his remarks one woman jumped up on the table and unfurled a flag.
“I grabbed the flag and sort of turned to look because there was a security officer at the top of the stairway,” Harper told WANE. He said several other staffers then surrounded the woman and escorted her from the arena.
Multiple media outlets identified the protester as Medea Benjamin from Code Pink. It’s unclear if she was arrested or will face any charges.
Her protest, however, caused Trump to pause for about a minute at the podium in the middle of his acceptance speech.
“It’s a presidential nominating acceptance, historically – it’s important,” Harper said. “… as she was standing on the table and unfurling this flag and it is not going to be something in support of Mr. Trump,” Harper said.
Harper attended his first convention in 1976 at the age of 20. He’s severed as a delegate, alternate delegate, and journalist for at least eight conventions. He said the most memorable convention was ’76, when republicans weren’t sure nominating President Gerald Ford over Gov. Ronald Reagan was the right choice.
Harper said after Trump concluded his speech, the security officer finished speaking to someone in the row in front of him and shook his hand and thanked him.
“I felt pretty good about the proceedings.”
Harper also recognized his role as a journalist, “Frankly, since I’m wearing a journalist hat you’re not supposed to be involved with the story.”
Too late, though.
Harper’s now scruffy beard has been shown across multiple national networks and appeared on several online websites, including the Huffington Post.