By Catherine Marfin
The Dallas Morning News
Officials for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign canceled two events in the Austin area Friday after vehicles with flags and signs supporting President Donald Trump surrounded one of its campaign buses Friday on Interstate 35, The Texas Tribune reported.
Video of the encounter went viral Saturday on social media, and the Tribune reported the FBI is looking into the incident.
In one video, at least seven vehicles can be seen surrounding the bus, which was in the far right lane of traffic.
A car in the middle lane, which didn’t appear to have political signs or flags on it, collided with a truck with a Trump flag that was driving behind the bus.
Katie Naranjo, chairwoman of the Travis County Democratic Party, posted a photo on Twitter of what looked like the same car in the video and said Trump supporters had been “yelling curse words and threats” as they ran into the vehicle.
Randi Ceh, who is the organizer of the New Braunfels Trump Train with her husband, Steve Ceh, posted a video of what looked like the same car and said it had been swerving into different lanes, The Austin American-Statesman reported. The car was being driven by a Biden campaign staffer.
A San Marcos spokesperson told the Tribune that officers had not spoken to the people who were involved in the collision and couldn’t say which vehicle was at fault.
No injuries were reported and no arrests had been made, according to the Statesman.
Biden-Harris campaign officials told the Tribune that it seemed as though the Trump supporters were trying to slow the bus.
A source, who spoke to the Tribune on the condition of anonymity, said New Braunfels police helped escort the bus to Austin after they received calls about the incident.
The New York Times reported that the bus was filled with campaign staffers. Texas congressional candidate and former state Sen. Wendy Davis also was a passenger, according to the Tribune.
The campaign canceled events scheduled for later Friday in downtown Austin and Pflugerville out of “an abundance of caution,” according to the Times.
“Rather than engage in productive conversation about the drastically different visions that Joe Biden and Donald Trump have for our country, Trump supporters in Texas instead decided to put our staff, surrogates, supporters and others in harm’s way,” Tariq Thowfeek, the Texas communications director for the Biden for President campaign, said in a statement to the Times.
The Texas campaign tour had started Wednesday in Amarillo, the Tribune reported.
Friday’s events began in Laredo and then moved to San Antonio. The bus was on its way from San Antonio to Austin when the vehicles surrounded it.
Trump posted a different video of the incident on Twitter Saturday evening with the caption “I LOVE TEXAS!” The video he posted only showed Trump supporters driving alongside the bus.
Allen West, chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, issued a written statement that said reporters asking about the incident were attempting “to portray conservatives as violent radicals,” and said there was a relative lack of media attention toward Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who gained national attention after photos and videos of them waving guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their home went viral in June.
“A leftist mob attempted to storm the house of the McCloskeys, threatened to burn their house down, rape Mrs. McCloskey, and then kill them both,” the statement said.
Although the McCloskeys have described the demonstrators outside their home as violent, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported that there has been no evidence of violence by the protesters.
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