WASHINGTON — Security will be tightened for members of Congress while they travel after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol and harassed at least three lawmakers at airports for not supporting an effort to overturn election results.
The Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority and U.S. Air Marshals will increase security for congressional travel to and from Washington, according to a memo obtained by NBC News.
The memo asks members of Congress to consider submitting plans to law enforcement officials to “ensure an increased security posture” at Washington Dulles, Ronald Reagan National and Baltimore/Washington airports.
Capitol Police will be stationed at the airports through the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
The memo was issued just days after Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, and Mitt Romney, of Utah, were heckled by Trump supporters while traveling to their home states.
In a video posted online, a woman walked up to Romney as he worked on a computer in the Salt Lake City airport and referred to him as a “disgusting shame,” The Associated Press reported.
In a separate incident at Reagan airport, Trump backers called Graham “a traitor” for refusing to support claims that the presidential election “was rigged,” according to a video posted to Twitter.
California’s Rep. Lou Correa, a Democrat, was also harassed this week at Dulles while waiting to board a flight to Los Angeles, according to his spokesperson.
“I was doing my job and fulfilling my constitutional duty of certifying the people’s choice for President—Joe Biden,” Correa said in a statement. “These folks clearly had a problem with that, and they got up in my face about it. But as my constituents know, I won’t back down from a fight and will always stand up for my community and our democracy.”
While traveling, Congress members and their staff are advised to “remain vigilant” and immediately report suspicious or unusual activity, the memo says.
Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies have come under fierce criticism for not being better prepared for Wednesday’s violent incursion, prompting Chief Steven Sund to announce his resignation.
The riot ended in the deaths of a U.S. Capitol Police officer and a Trump supporter, and three other supporters died from medical emergencies.
Biden criticized what he described as a double standard between how law enforcement reacted to the pro-Trump mob versus how it treated supporters of Black Lives Matter over the summer.
“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently from the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,” he said Thursday. “We all know that’s true. And it’s unacceptable. Totally unacceptable.”
Alex Moe reported from Washington and Alicia Victoria Lozano from Los Angeles.