By Jesse Bedayn and Matthew Brown | Associated Press
DENVER — Newly released surveillance video from a Denver theater appears to show Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert vaping during a “Beetlejuice” musical play — the one thing she denied doing while acknowledging earlier this week that she had been kicked out for being disruptive.
Boebert and her guest were escorted out of the play Sunday after audience members accused two guests of vaping, singing, using phones and causing a disturbance, according to theater representatives and video from the publicly owned Buell Theater.
When the lights were still on and as people were taking their seats around Boebert, she can be seen in the surveillance video talking with her companion. Boebert then reaches beneath her seat and puts an object up to her mouth for a moment before blowing out a cloud of vapor or smoke, the footage first reported by KUSA-TV shows.
The footage also shows flashes from Boebert’s phone as she holds it up and appears to take photos of herself during the performance.
Boebert campaign manager Drew Sexton confirmed this week she had been kicked out but denied she was vaping. Sexton did not immediately respond to text and telephone messages Friday seeking comment about the latest video.
Two days after the incident, Boebert posted in social media: “It’s true, I did thoroughly enjoy the AMAZING Beetlejuice at the Buell Theatre and I plead guilty to laughing and singing too loud! Everyone should go see it if you get a chance this week and please let me know how it ends!”
In her relatively short time in Washington, Boebert has built a national profile and has aligned with the extreme right wing of the GOP. Her combative style has grabbed media headlines, most famously when she heckled President Joe Biden during his 2022 State of the Union address.
She is in her second term in Congress and running for reelection in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, largely covering the state’s western half.
The theater did not name Boebert but released video clips from surveillance cameras that showed the congresswoman and her companion being led out of the theater by members of its staff.
During the confrontation in the theater, the two made comments along the lines of “do you know who I am” and “I will be contacting the mayor,” according to the venue’s statement.
The two guests at first refused to leave the venue, even after an employee threatened to get the police, the theater said. Once a police officer was on the way, the two left, the theater said.
Brown reported from Billings, Mont. Jesse Bedayn is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.