Moment Democrat ‘Squad’ member Rashida Tlaib’s aide uses umbrella to try and block journalist from asking congresswoman question

A staffer with Squad member Rashida Tlaib’s team attempted to stop a Fox News reporter from asking her questions about the prospect of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressing the US Congress. 

Rep. Tlaib, the lone Palestinian-American in the House of Representatives, has been harshly critical of Israel’s response to Hamas brutal assault on the Jewish state on October 7. 

Israel is fighting to wipe out Hamas militants who attacked Israel. Palestinian authorities say more than 35,000 people have been killed during Israel’s campaign in Gaza.

On Thursday, the Michigan Democrat was walking near the Capitol when Fox News’ Chad Pergram approached her. 

The video broadcast by the conservative network sees the reporter begin his question: ‘What happens if Netanyahu comes-‘ before the umbrella is shoved in his face, preventing her from being seen by Pergram. 

Fox News reporter Chad Pergram attempting to ask Rep. Rashida Tlaib about the prospect of Netanyahu speaking before Congress 

Despite attempts to rebuff him, Pergram persisted in what is being dubbed 'Umbrellagate'

Despite attempts to rebuff him, Pergram persisted in what is being dubbed ‘Umbrellagate’

When the staffer changes their position, Pergram begins his line of questioning again. 

‘Ms. Tlaib, what happens if Netanyahu comes to speak? Is that a mistake by the speaker to extend this request? What do you think of the Democratic leaders agreeing to that request as well?,’ he asks. 

‘Would you attend? Would you protest in any form?’ Pergram persists. 

With the umbrella still being used to obscure the Squad member, Tlaib finally responded. 

‘I don’t know, inviting a war criminal to Congress is a sham. It’s shameful,’ she said. 

A dispute occurs between the Fox crew and Tlaib’s staff over whether someone was hit. ‘We have it on video, guys,’ Pergram says. 

During a segment on Bret Baier’s show, he labeled the incident ‘Umbrellagate.’  

Republican U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Thursday that Netanyahu would soon address a joint meeting of Congress amid heightened tension with President Joe Biden over the Israeli leader’s handling of the war in Gaza.

Eventually, Pergram was able to get a clear line to Tlaib

Eventually, Pergram was able to get a clear line to Tlaib

In brief remarks, Tlaib called Rep. Benjamin Netanyahu a 'war criminal'

In brief remarks, Tlaib called Rep. Benjamin Netanyahu a ‘war criminal’

 Delivering a keynote speech at the Israeli embassy’s annual Independence Day reception, Johnson, the top congressional Republican and a critic of the Democratic president’s Israel policy, said it would be ‘a strong show of support for the Israeli government in their time of greatest need.’ 

Such a speech is sure to further anger progressive Democrats critical of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza and Biden’s support for it. Netanyahu has closely aligned himself with Republicans.

The diplomatic gathering in Washington comes amid strains between Biden and Netanyahu over a U.S. push for Israel to do more to protect Palestinian civilians in the war against Hamas militants in Gaza.

The embassy gave equal billing to Democratic U.S. Representative Pete Aguilar, who shared the high-profile platform with Johnson at a more subdued event under the shadow of the Gaza war. 

‘As Americans, we reaffirm our commitment to Israel’s sovereignty,’ he said. 

Speaking first, Johnson said to applause: ‘Tonight I’m happy to announce … we will soon be hosting Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Capitol for a joint session of Congress.’

Successive U.S. administration have usually sent a high-level official to the Independence Day receptions.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who in recent months has called the situation in Gaza a ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ and has urged a ceasefire, delivered last year’s keynote, mostly extolling U.S. backing for Israel. 

An Israeli official said this year the embassy wanted to honor lawmakers in a bipartisan way in appreciation for congressional approval of billions of dollars in new U.S. military aid.

The reception took place on the same night as a White House state dinner for Kenyan President William Ruto, which the Israeli official said created a scheduling conflict for cabinet members.

Several less senior Biden aides were in attendance, including Derek Chollet, Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s counselor.

The White House declined comment when asked whether it was consulted about the invitation to Netanyahu or whether Biden, who has denied an Oval Office meeting to the Israeli leader, might see him in Washington.