Rep. Tom Reed, after being met by people loudly protesting during a series of four town hall meetings in his home district in New York over the weekend, said Monday he thinks it's still important to hold the events, and that people will eventually listen to politicians who respect them.
"We cut through the rhetoric and we cut through the disruption," the New York Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "We stayed there and engaged in the conversation. I sincerely want to find that common ground. We must come together to solve the problems. The problems are not going to be solved by partisan divide.
"When you have that conversation, it inevitably leads to a conversation because we are all human beings and looking for solutions and we care deeply about each other."
There were several Republican congressmen who did not hold events over the weekend, and while Reed said he respects their decision on how they represent themselves, it's important to communicate with constituents.
"This is the cornerstone of our belief," said Reed. "We have done 200 town halls. To represent people, you have to listen to them. I care deeply about their opinion and input. I want to be their voice in Washington, D.C. You can only do that by listening to them."
NPR reports that protesters pressed Reed about Republicans' plans for replacing Obamacare, and while Reed said he does support keeping some provisions, on others he lacked concrete answers, further angering his crowds.
Still others wanted to know why Reed voted against a bill coming through the Ways and Means Committee requiring Trump release his income tax returns, other protesters demanded Reed address Trump's alleged ties with Russia and findings that the country tried to interfere in the election to help Trump win.
But on Monday, Reed said there was a "lot of positive feedback" after the town halls once people started hearing information, as "there is a lot of misinformation out there."
He said he does believe there is a possibility that the protests could calm down, but also that there is a "lot of disbelief that President Trump won."
"They did not ever realize he would be the president of the United States and there's a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety out there," said Reed.
"As we deliver for the American people, as we put solutions together and enact opportunities for people back in their district, in our district and across the country, solutions will unite this country and alleviate this pressure."
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