×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

White House Correspondents Condemn Attack on BBC Cameraman at Trump Rally

UPDATED WASHINGTON — The White House Correspondents Association is calling on President Trump to make it clear to his supporters that violence against reporters is unacceptable, after a BBC cameraman was attacked at the rally in El Paso.

Olivier Knox, the president of the WHCA, condemned the attack and said that they were “relieved that, this time, no one was seriously hurt. The president of the United States should make absolutely clear to his supporters that violence against reporters is unacceptable.”

Later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement saying that the president “condemns all acts of violence against any individual or group of people — including members of the press. We ask that anyone attending an event do so in a peaceful and respectful manner.”

At the Trump rally on Monday night, the attacker, wearing a Make America Great Again hat, “shoved and swore” at news crews, according to the BBC, and gave a “very hard shove” to the BBC’s cameraman, Ron Skeans. The man was then restrained.

Trump interrupted his speech when he saw what was going on and said to Skeans, “You all right? Everything OK?” He gave Skeans the thumbs up and the cameraman signaled that he was OK, the BBC reported.

“The crowd had been whipped up into a frenzy against the media by Trump and other speakers all night,” wrote Eleanor Montague, BBC Washington News editor, who was with Skeans.

At Monday’s rally, tied to Trump’s efforts to secure funding for a border wall, the president again attacked the media, as he has done on many occasions since launching his presidential campaign. Reporters have expressed concerns that a situation will get out of hand at a rally as the president whips up his supporters resentment and anger over the way that he is covered.

Gary O’Donoghue, BBC’s Washington correspondent, who also was there, said that the man had jumped onto the media platform and tried to smash the BBC camera. He called the incident “shameful.”

Trump at one point in the rally marveled at the side of the media contingent, and then compared it to coverage of the Oscars. “Wow. Look at all the press there. Can you believe that? This is like the Academy Awards used to be,” he said.

Some journalism and writers groups expressed alarm at the incident.

The group Reporters Without Borders expressed concern over the attack. “As we continue to look at what happened, we firmly denounce all physical violence against reporters for doing their jobs. This is unacceptable in the country of the First Amendment.”

Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, said, “President Trump needs to make an unequivocal statement that journalists must be allowed to do their jobs without threat or interference, and then live by those words. Short of that he will continue to bear the blame for imperiling journalists doing the job of holding government accountable and keeping the public informed.”

Paul Danahar, BBC’s Americas bureau chief, said that he’s written to Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders asking for “a full review of security arrangements for the media after last night’s attack on our BBC cameraman at the President’s rally.”

“Access into the media area was unsupervised. No one in law enforcement intervened before, during or after the attack,” Danahar wrote on Twitter.

Sanders, however, referred questions about security to the Trump presidential campaign, which organized the rally.

 

More Politics

  • BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 22:

    Quality Control's Coach K Says Abortion Ban Has Already Impacted Business in Atlanta

    A who’s who of black entertainment and tech filled the Beverly Hilton Hotel ballroom on June 22 for the 4th annual Culture Creators Innovators and Leaders Awards brunch. Honorees included Byron Allen, who received the Icon Award; actress and executive producer Marsai Martin, who was named Innovator of the Year; and Quality Control Music founders [...]

  • Wyclef Jeans Warns Democrats: 'Trump Can

    Wyclef Jean Warns Democrats: 'Trump Can be Re-Elected'

    Wyclef Jean, the actor and rapper who performed the 2016 song “If I Was President,” is no stranger to politics, after trying to run for president of his native Haiti in 2010. At Cannes Lions, the annual advertising conference in the South of France, Jean talked about the future of music but his conversation with [...]

  • Hope Hicks

    Hope Hicks Refused to Answer Committee's Questions 155 Times

    Fox communications chief Hope Hicks refused to answer questions from the House Judiciary Committee on 155 separate occasions during closed-door testimony, the committee chairman said Thursday. The committee released a transcript of the hearing on Thursday afternoon. Prior to the hearing, President Trump directed Hicks not to answer questions about her service as a senior [...]

  • Hope Hicks

    Hope Hicks Gives Closed-Door Interview on Mueller Probe

    Hope Hicks appeared at the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning to give closed-door testimony on her involvement in the special counsel investigation of President Trump. The Fox communications chief was subpoenaed in May to provide documents and testimony that would aid in the committee’s investigation into obstruction of justice. After extensive negotiation, Hicks agreed [...]

  • Prince Mohammed bin Salman Abdulaziz al

    Saudi Crown Prince Should Be Investigated Over Khashoggi Killing, U.N. Report Says

    Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, should be investigated in connection with the killing of Jamal Khashoggi because of “credible evidence” that the prince is among those liable for the dissident journalist’s death, a United Nations report said Wednesday. While no “smoking gun” has yet been found that directly incriminates the prince [...]

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders Jemele Hill

    Sarah Huckabee Sanders to Leave the White House

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leaving her position at the end of the month, President Donald Trump said Thursday. In two tweets, Trump announced Sanders’ departure for her home state of Arkansas before thanking her for “a job well done.” He also recommended her for the Arkansas governor position, writing, “She is [...]

  • Kellyanne Conway

    Federal Watchdog Says Kellyanne Conway Should Step Down

    A federal watchdog has recommended that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway should be fired for repeated violations of the Hatch Act. In a report on Thursday, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel found that Conway had used TV appearances and social media platforms to disparage Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity. “Ms. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content