White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett was heckled during a speech on Friday by an activist demanding that President Barack Obama do more to address climate change.
Jarrett was about two-thirds of the way into her speech at RootsCamp, a conference for grassroots organizers being held in Washington, D.C., when Brad Johnson, campaign manager of Forecast the Facts and former editor of ThinkProgress Green, stood up and interrupted her.
According to HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel, who was in the audience, members of the crowd began clapping in what was perceived as an attempt to drown Johnson out. Other attendees reported that members of the crowd booed, and that Secret Service agents moved toward the center of the ballroom. Jarrett apparently waved them off and spoke briefly with Johnson following her speech.
“I stood up and asked Valerie Jarrett to have the president speak about the reality of climate change,” Johnson told Terkel after the incident. “This nation is facing a fundamental threat to its existence, and the people of New York and people all across America are already suffering the effects, the consequences of carbon pollution, and the president has been silent on that threat and is promoting an agenda of increased dependence on fossil fuels. Even with the aftermath of Sandy, the president has still been silent on the reality of this threat, and that silence needs to end.”