U.S. Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, who was confronted by a left-wing reporter on an Amtrak train from New York City to D.C., has responded to the video posted to social media.
“Sen. @ChrisCoons sat across from me on the train,” Aaron Maté posted to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on Monday. “With Israel using US weapons to kill thousands of Palestinian civilians, including 4600+ children, I asked him why he refuses to call for a ceasefire.”
In the video, the Democratic senator asks Maté who he is and who he works for. Maté identifies himself as a journalist working for The Grayzone, whose X profile describes itself as “Independent news and investigative journalism on politics and empire.”
“Senator, I’m sorry to put you on the spot,” Maté says as the recording begins. “Then don’t,” Coons responds.
Maté continues, asking, “Why not call for a cease-fire in Gaza?”
Coons then tells Maté they are in a “quiet car” on the train, which Amtrak’s website says “guests are asked to limit conversation and speak in subdued tones.”
When Maté continues to question the senator, Coons responds by repeatedly saying, “Please, stop,” adding, “You are bothering me and everyone else around here.”
Coons told Maté the train was not an appropriate place to interview him, saying what Maté was doing was not “professional journalism.”
“Aaron, please stop, or I’m gonna have you thrown off this train,” Coons said.
“As Senator Coons said yesterday afternoon, he believes the whole world should unite in opposition to terrorism following Hamas’ massacre of Israeli civilians on October 7,” a spokesperson for Sen. Coons said in a statement. “While Senator Coons does not support a ceasefire, he has repeatedly made clear that he supports humanitarian pauses to allow for assistance deliveries to Gaza, including hospitals, and has urged the Israeli government to target their campaign against Hamas. He also has repeatedly pushed for the swift release of the hostages Hamas continues to hold.”
A subsequent X post from Maté says he followed Amtrak rules.
“I didn’t accost him, I questioned him (in a quiet voice, because it was the Quiet Car) about his refusal to back a Gaza ceasefire. And he did have me thrown off the train,” Maté said.