Joe Manchin confronted by climate protester at Harvard: ‘You sick f***’

Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) aide threw a climate protester to the ground after a tense interaction.

In an interaction filmed and released by the environmentalist group Climate Defiance, a protester surprised and vigorously denounced Manchin at a Harvard event, prompting the West Virginia Democrat to get to his feet to confront his antagonist. After holding Manchin back, communications director Jonathan Kott grabbed and threw the protester out the door, sending him tumbling to the ground.

“You sold our futures and you got rich doing it. You sick f***!” the protester said, prompting Manchin to rise from his seat and attempt to get into the protester’s face. “How dare you? You have sold our—”

The protester’s last line was cut off after he was tossed out of the room.

The group touted the exchange as favoring them, releasing an edited video showing the interaction.

“BREAKING: we just called Joe Manchin a sick f***,” a post from the group’s X account read. “We humiliated him in front of a herd of Harvard elites. He squared up. We held firm. Barbaric murderer, hideous fiend, he torches humanity and laughs.”


The young protester was part of a larger group who stood behind Manchin. The senator heard out the others, asking them to sit down to talk, though they refused. After their refusal, he attempted to resume the event, though the protesters began shouting over him.

Manchin was then seen individually thanking the people in the crowd for attending before leaving.

The incident was met with mockery online, with many praising Kott’s actions. Kott responded with a quip on X.

“Might start a security business on the side,” he said.

Climate Defiance was founded in February of last year and has made itself known for disrupting public events to protest climate policies. It positioned itself as an ally of the progressive House “Squad” Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) attended the first anniversary of the group’s founding on Monday.


The climate demonstrators were angry over the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a priority of Manchin’s that has dragged on due to lawsuits and protests. The West Virginia Democrat has defended the pipeline as ensuring energy security for the United States and supplying 4,500 jobs.

The demonstrators also denounced Manchin’s support from the fossil fuel industry in the form of donations. One of his most persistent criticisms of the Biden administration has been its green energy agenda, which he argues harms the economy.

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