(WTNH) — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) spoke out for the first time since being scrutinized for his attendance at a Communist Party event earlier this month.

Blumenthal spoke at the Connecticut People’s World Committee Awards ceremony. He was the surprise guest presenting award winners with certificates of special recognition from the United States Senate.

The occasion celebrated the 102nd anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party USA.

The chair of the state Republican party says Blumenthal should have declined the invitation.

Blumenthal said, “If I had known all the details I would not have gone. I was invited by labor unions to be there. I go to a lot of places – in fact, I go almost everywhere I’m invited.”

Ben Proto, chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party, responded, “I don’t think the people of Connecticut agree with the Communist party. I don’t think they agree with their U.S. Senator attending a Communist event. I don’t think they agree with how far left he’s moved over the years.”

Proto says Blumenthal’s actions are a clear sign the Democratic party has a real problem with far-left activists. Event organizers also invited guests to “join the Communist party in this epic time.”