CNN reporter Kyung Lah and host Chris Cuomo were scared about the situation in Maricopa County, Arizona, Wednesday night as the 2020 election vote counting there continued. They were scared because protesters supporting President Donald Trump had gathered outside the building where votes were being tabulated.
Lah was on the ground at the Maricopa County Elections Department Wednesday night, covering the ongoing vote-counting and giving her take during a hit with Cuomo.
She began by telling Cuomo that she and her team were coming up with an "exit plan" to leave the building as they were trying to escape what she called a "very big" crowd. Aerial footage of the protest showed a gathering of protesters in the facility's parking lot.
"There is an exit plan being formed, because what's happening beyond those doors right there," she said, adding, "Outside there is a very sizable protest."
"If you look at the aerial pictures from our affiliate, it's very big," she added.
As she spoke, CNN ran footage of the "sizable" protest standing around in the parking lot.
Image source: Twitter/CurtisHouck video screenshot
Lah went on to share how concerned she was for the vote-counters, pointing to the workers and saying, "Let's start here. These people parked in that parking lot. How are they going to get the cars out of there?"
And then she made it serious, indicating the real threat was found in Arizona's gun laws.
"I should add, that this is a crowd that is armed," Lah said. "There are a number of people out there who have been seen with long guns, semi-automatic rifles, because this is an open-carry state."
Video: Here's CNN saying that the Maricopa County Elections Department building was CLOSING due to what was a genui… https://t.co/dfLNM6VCSk— Curtis Houck (@Curtis Houck)1604553681.0
"So, there are a lot of security concerns," she added.
She noted that there were no problems in the building, but that all the "problems" were coming from the pro-Trump protesters outside.
"The problems are happening outside and just trying to keep things under control," she said.
"There's a lot chanting," she said, along with flag waving and singing "Y.M.C.A."
Cuomo went on to blame Trump for "chilling the democracy" in a way that would lead to such an allegedly dangerous protest.
Neither Cuomo nor Lah offered a single example of specific threats. They did not point to any actions even remotely like what the nation saw during multiple BLM riots, such as burning buildings, looting, firing weapons, threatening the media or bystanders, or breaking into government facilities.
Of course, Fredo Cuomo reacts to all this by blaming President Trump for having a "chilling" effect on our democrac… https://t.co/hk6o0s2ZsI— Curtis Houck (@Curtis Houck)1604553915.0
What evidence did Lah have that there was a scary crowd outside?
Well, she did tweet footage of a good-sized crowd chanting, "Count the vote!" and waving flags, as she had breathlessly noted earlier.
But what might have put her over the edge was video evidence she captured of the people praying and then chanting "USA! USA! USA!"
Crowd outside Maricopa Co Elections Dept is larger now. Reminder— they’re protesting outside a vote counting center… https://t.co/6EnnaQGvG6— Kyung Lah (@Kyung Lah)1604551444.0