Fringe group claims it planned 'eat the babies' stunt at AOC town hall

Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — A fringe political group claimed responsibility for a strange stunt at a town hall speech by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was interrupted repeatedly by a woman who boisterously claimed people need to save the planet by "eating babies." 

The woman, who had taken off her jacket to reveal a T-shirt that read “Save the planet. Eat the children,” was acting on behalf of the political group LaRouchePAC, the group tweeted Thursday night..

Video shows the woman continuing to raise her voice as Ocasio-Cortez shows little reaction. The woman goes on, saying, “Even if we would bomb Russia, we still have too many people, too much pollution, so we have to get rid of the babies. Just stopping having babies is not enough; we need to eat the babies.” 

The freshman New York Congresswoman attempted to regain control of the room by largely ignoring the outburst, saying, “One of the things that’s very important to us is that we need to treat the climate crisis with the urgency that it does present. Luckily, we have more than a few months.”

The woman tried to interrupt again and was escorted from the room. 

A Twitter account belonging to the LaRouchePAC, a group that has supported President Donald Trump, claimed responsibility.

The group was created by Lyndon LaRouche Jr., until he died in February at the age of 96. He was a cult-like figure, who espoused a wide range of conspiracy theories and advocated for an overhaul of the world’s economic and financial systems. He ran for president in every election from 1976 to 2004, including a campaign waged from federal prison.

The outburst at the town hall spurred a flurry of conservatives, including the president, using the comments against Ocasio-Cortez, .

“AOC is Wack Job!” Trump tweeted, re-tweeting his son commenting on the ordeal. She responded: "Better than being a criminal who betrays our country.”

In response to the woman's outburst, originally Ocasio-Cortez reprimanded critics for attempting to “mock or make a spectacle” of the woman who “may have been suffering from a mental condition… Be a decent human being and knock it off.”

#EatTheBabies and #EatTheChildren were trending on twitter by Friday morning.

Ocasio-Cortez then responded Friday that although the woman was a "Trump supporter," it “doesn’t rule out potential mental issue (Drs do that) but good to know they were not in crisis.”

LaRouche followers do not believe in climate change and often refer to global warming as “population reduction, not science.”  

His conspiracy theories included a claim that the International Monetary Fund was “engaged in mass murder” by spreading AIDS through its economic policies, that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Vice President Walter Mondale were Soviet “agents of influence” and that the Queen of England was involved in the drug trade. He said former Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos “was opposed to me and he fell as a result.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fringe group planned 'eat the babies' stunt at AOC town hall