Indian-American woman who confronted Sean Spicer in Apple store: He threatened my citizenship
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

On Saturday, an activist confronted White House press secretary Sean Spicer in an Apple store, questioning his relationship to Russia. "Are you a criminal as well? Have you committed treason, just like the president?” she asked Spicer.


In response, the press secretary seemed to suggest that the woman, who was born in America but is of Indian origin, should be grateful to be in the country.

“Such a great country that allows you to be here,” he says in response to her questions, recorded on Periscope. As the Guardian points out, it's not clear if Spicer was referring to her ethnicity or her right to confront a public official.

But in a Medium post, the woman, Shree Chauhan, describes feeling threatened—that Spicer had suggested that her citizenship were in jeopardy.

"That is racism and it is an implied threat. Think about the sheer audacity of Mr. Spicer to say that to my face with a smile, knowing that he that he is being recorded on video and the position of power he holds in our government," she writes. "I am still stunned by the boldness of having my citizenship threatened on camera."

"It’s one thing to have a Twitter egg tell say you do not belong in America, it is quite another to have the Press Secretary of the United States of America do so. I am still astounded. And while I am fearless, I wonder how this administration will use its power to silence ordinary people like me," she continued.

Predictably, the woman appears to have spent her weekend battling Twitter trolls who were far more explicit about their xenophobia.