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Democratic Members Of Congress Harassed On Flights Home

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A Trump flag is shown flying over the Long Beach Public Safety Building. The police department said the flag was not authorized, and has opened a criminal investigation. (Courtesy of Ian Thomas Malone)
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Some of Southern California’s Democratic members of Congress experienced harassment from Trump supporters on their trip home last week from the nation’s capital.

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, whose district bridges Orange and L.A. counties, said in addition to comments from those supporters, she heard other passengers call the siege “patriotic.”

"I had to bite my tongue and sit on a five-and-a-half hour flight with folks who were gleeful about what happened on Wednesday,” Sanchez said.

The Congresswoman noted that she was “uneasy” driving towards the Capitol on Wednesday as she noticed the lack of police presence after threats of violence had already been made public.

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“Intelligence had warned that there was a problem, that things could get violent, and that information was not passed along to Capitol Police because the Department of Defense has been politicized,” she said. “There should have been a very visible presence in the Capitol to deter people from even thinking that they could get out of line. There was not. That was an epic, epic failure.”

Sanchez added that Congressional representatives need increased security for protection, and that those who stormed the Capitol should be treated as terrorists.

“I've been saying that since before [Arizona Congresswoman] Gabby Giffords was shot doing a public event at a grocery store,” Sanchez said. “These folks are as dangerous as ISIS. And yet, we are not treating them the same as international terrorists. I have been calling them seditious traitors."

Sanchez said she and her staff are still processing Wednesday's events at the Capitol, describing the attack as traumatic.

"I don't feel like things are going back to normal anytime soon, and it’s difficult,” she said. “It's difficult for me, it's difficult for my family."

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Democratic Congressman Lou Correa of Anaheim was waiting for a flight at a Washington-area airport and conducting a live interview with ABC7 when he was accosted by a Trump supporter.