DELAWARE: Senator Chris Coons found himself embroiled in an unexpected exchange aboard an Amtrak train, where he threatened to have journalist Aaron Mate deported after being confronted about his stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The incident, caught on camera, quickly escalated when Mate questioned Coons about his reluctance to advocate for a ceasefire in Gaza, according to the New York Post.
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Independent journalist Aaron Mate confronts Senator Chris Coons on a train to ask him why he is not calling for a ceasefire. pic.twitter.com/0dwXQFtZcl
— Mnar Adley (@MnarMuh) November 13, 2023
Chris Coons’ tense encounter with Aaron Mate aboard an Amtrak train
Sitting in the silent train carriage, Coons was approached by Grayzone reporter Mate, who apologized to him before launching into inquiries about the senator’s position on the Gaza ceasefire.
Coons, visibly confused, initially questioned Mate’s identity, citing the car rule prohibiting conversation. The senator attempted to escape the interview, seeking help from an Amtrak employee while Mate persisted in his line of questioning, focusing on the impact of U.S. weapons in Gaza.
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Coons ultimately clarified his position, expressing support for humanitarian pauses and urging Israel to target Hamas. Despite Coons’ attempts to interrupt the conversation, Mate continued to investigate, leading the senator to threaten to be kicked off the train, citing disruptions in the car’s quiet etiquette.
The confrontation ended when Coons left his seat nearly three minutes into the exchange, and Mate claimed in a later message that he was asked to move and was ultimately removed from the train to the next stop in Philadelphia.
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After asking Senator Coons about his support for the Israeli massacres in Gaza, I was asked to sit elsewhere. I obeyed. About 30 minutes later he walked past me. We didn’t exchange words. At the next stop, in Philadelphia, I was removed from the train. I guess it was… pic.twitter.com/Odbr36CJJx
– Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) November 13, 2023
Who is Aaron Mate?
Mate, a Canadian writer and journalist, hosts “Pushback with Aaron Mate” on The Grayzone and occasionally contributes to the “Useful Idiots” podcast. His long career includes reporting and production roles with various media outlets including Democracy Now!, Vice and Al Jazeera.
He notably disputed allegations of collusion between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign, gaining recognition for his work.
Currently affiliated with The Grayzone, described as a far-left platform, Mate’s media coverage often supports controversial positions on governments like Russia, Syria and China, according to Coda Story.
The outlet has been criticized for its perspectives on the Uyghur cultural genocide, allegations of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime in Syria, and the Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of the Uyghur community in Xinjiang province.
Mate’s coverage often supports controversial positions on governments like Russia, Syria, and China. (Rolling Stone/YouTube)
Controversies surrounding The Grayzone
Grayzone’s editorial choices have drawn attention to their critical stance toward Israel, particularly regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict.
They have consistently expressed disagreement with Israeli actions, reporting significant casualties in Gaza and suggesting a disproportionate response from Israel.
Additionally, The Grayzone has published controversial theories, including claims that contradict widely accepted narratives about events in Syria and Xinjiang.
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