A man got into the face of Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and launched into a threatening and profanity-laced rant in a Las Vegas restaurant, according to video of the confrontation that was widely circulated Monday.
The scene apparently unfolded Sunday when Sisolak, his wife and one of his daughters were at dinner. A man in a red T-shirt that reads “Cannabis and Combat” approaches Sisolak, seemingly to get a photo.
The man puts his arm around Sisolak, then insults him and calls him an obscenity inches from his face.
Sisolak, a Democrat, simply responds "I'm sorry to hear that" before he turns to walk away.
The man follows and yells "new world order, traitor."
The phrase "new world order" is frequently used by the far right, part of a conspiracy theory about secret societies seeking world domination.
The man in the red shirt follows Sisolak, who does not appear to have any police or security guards around him, and his wife, Kathy Ong, into the parking lot, accusing him conspiring with China against the U.S.
"We should string you up by [a] lamppost right now," the man says.
Another man comes into the frame to join the confrontation, adding: "They hang traitors. I think that's awesome."
The video was posted on an Instagram account called Cannabis and Combat, whose creator did not immediately respond to several phone calls and emails seeking comment Tuesday.
Sisolak's communications director, Meghin Delaney, said the references to China were a clear racial slur aimed at Sisolak's wife.
"He is deeply disappointed in how this incident unfolded, particularly with the language used to talk about First Lady Kathy Sisolak’s heritage," Delaney said in a statement.
"We can disagree about the issues, but the personal attacks and threats are unwarranted, unwelcome and unbecoming behavior for Nevadans."
Sisolak thanked restaurant employees for trying to de-escalate the situation.
"The Governor works on behalf of all Nevadans — even those who disagree with him — and he will continue to do so," Delaney added.
"He appreciates the professionalism shown by the restaurant employees and looks forward to continuing to support Nevada’s small businesses and their employees. The Governor has always and will always encourage Nevadans to be kind to one another."
Sisolak recently lifted a statewide indoor mask mandate aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19.
While harassers at the restaurant did not appear to mention the restrictions, Sisolak has been under intense fire from critics of the Covid mandates, particularly in rural areas outside major cities like Las Vegas.
Sisolak is running for re-election this fall in what could be a down cycle for Democratic incumbents. But recent polls show him holding narrow edges against potential Republican challengers.