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A Trump Supporter Attacked Journalists After The President Blasted The Media At His Texas Rally

Videos shows the man bursting into the press corral at the El Paso event, pushing a BBC photographer, and yelling "Fuck the media" as the crowd jeers.

Last updated on February 12, 2019, at 5:39 p.m. ET

Posted on February 12, 2019, at 4:50 a.m. ET

Eric Gay / AP

A man is restrained after he began shoving members of the media during a rally for President Trump at the El Paso County Coliseum on Monday.

A man wearing a Make America Great Again hat barreled into the press pit at President Donald Trump's rally in El Paso, Texas, Monday night and started shoving reporters, knocking over their equipment, and yelling "Fuck the media," minutes after the president had lashed out at journalists.

About half way through his lengthy, campaign-style speech, Trump ridiculed the media for "refusing to acknowledge" his administration's successes, invoking loud boos and jeers from the crowd.

"I guess 93% of the stories are negative. No matter what we do, they figure out a way to make it that," the president said, rattling off topics, such as North Korea, the economy, and manufacturing, which he feels that the media has unfairly skewed.

As Trump went on touting his successes, a man in a red MAGA hat suddenly burst toward the group of reporters and photographers who were covering the speech, pushing them over, knocking into their cameras and tripods, and repeatedly yelling "Fuck the media."

"I was trying to tweet and watch the president and all of the sudden the riser started shaking and two tripods in front of me fell on top of one another and then a guy almost fell on me," Yasmine El-Sabawi, a producer with TRT World, a Turkish news channel, told BuzzFeed News.

This is the guy that crashed into the media pen causing some cameras to fall and the riser to shake. Just an hour earlier, Donald Trump Jr. was out here at the rally in El Paso, TX getting people riled up against the media.

A photographer dropped his camera as she and other reporters quickly tried to figure out what was happening.

"Then it set in that someone was here who wasn't supposed to be here and then you saw the red hat and it sinks in and you get it," El-Sabawi said.

The attacker "went straight for the BBC camera man," El-Sabawi added.

Several members of the BBC who were at the rally shared their footage and accounts on Twitter.

In one clip, a BBC camera steadily trained on Trump's podium suddenly falters and blurs. Eleanor Montague, the outlet's Washington editor, tweeted that it was because he was "attacked by a Trump supporter."

"The crowd had been whipped into a frenzy against the media by Trump and other speakers all night," she wrote.

Just attended my first ⁦@realDonaldTrump⁩ rally where my colleague BBC cameraman Rob Skeans was attacked by a Trump supporter. The crowd had been whipped up into a frenzy against the media by Trump and other speakers all night #TrumpElPaso

The White House Correspondents' Association condemned the attack in a statement Tuesday.

"We are relieved that, this time, no one was seriously hurt," it said. "The president of the United States should make absolutely clear to his supporters that violence against reporters is unacceptable."

The White House also issued a brief statement on the incident denouncing "all acts of violence."

"President Trump condemns all acts of violence against any individual or group of people - including members of the press," press secretary Sarah Sanders said. "We ask that anyone attending an event do so in a peaceful and respectful manner."

Anna Giartelli, a reporter with the Washington Examiner, was one of the first to tweet about the ordeal, noting that members of the media were "yelling for police to get down here."

Several reporters told BuzzFeed News that there were no security guards or police officers near the press arena until "after the photographer got shoved."

"I am calling bullshit on the way that he got escorted out," said Jorge Salgado, a photographer who captured part of the incident. "He was violent and he came out of nowhere."

Anibal Almodovar Carlos told BuzzFeed News there “was literally no security around when it happened.”

“I had to take him all the way out to where the cops were in order for them to get him,” he said. “I’ve had to do this before in previous events, so it wasn’t something new to me. But I was truly surprised that there wasn’t like 10 Secret Service guys on him in seconds, or even cops.”

For a moment, Rene Delgadillo, a producer with Telemundo 48 in El Paso, said he thought the man "was going to hit us."

Delgadillo and a reporter were taking notes when he said heard a man scream and then start pushing other reporters down as he "made his way through the space designated for media."

"People went crazy during that moment," he said of the crowd around them.

The producer posted a video to his Instagram, capturing the attacker yelling "Fuck the media" as another man in a red, pro-Trump hat grabbed and escorted him down the risers.

"We need security, please," someone shouts.

The man takes off his hat and waves it as he yells "Make America great again" before two officials walk him toward the exit. The roaring crowd continues to boo and then chant, "Trump, Trump!"

Rene Delgadillo/ Telemundo 48 El Paso

The president paused his speech briefly as officials removed the man from the arena, asking, "Are you all right? Everything OK?" He then gives a thumbs-up before jumping back into his speech.

The White House did not respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.

"I was extremely rattled," El-Sabawi said. "You don't expect what the president said on stage to transpire that quickly in real life."

Even after the incident, Trump continued to criticize the media during his nearly 90-minute address, again riling up the audience.

"Some of the most dishonest people in media are the so-called fact-checkers," he said to resounding boos from the crowd.

The faces of the crowd as they boo and jeer at the press.

Ten minutes later, he again criticized the "dishonest media" for favoring former Texas representative Beto O'Rourke, a potential presidential candidate who also held a rally in El Paso on Monday to protest Trump.

In a statement Tuesday, the BBC said its cameraman, Ron Skeans, "is fine" after being "violently pushed and shoved." Meanwhile, BBC’s North America editor has asked White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to review security measures for media personnel at Trump rallies going forward.

“It is clearly unacceptable for any of our staff to be attacked for doing their job," the broadcaster said.

The El Paso attack appears to be the first time a Trump supporter physically targeted members of the media during one of his events. However, the president's constant, vitriolic barrage of attacks against the media has inspired other attendees to verbally assault journalists, including this reporter at a Michigan rally last April. In October, a man was arrested after he sent a slew of suspicious packages to CNN, prominent Democrats, and other prominent Trump critics.

It was Delgadillo's first time covering a Trump rally and the Telemundo producer said that, although it was rattling, the experience was important.

"It was a great way to learn about ... the responsibilities we have as media," he said. "He keeps attacking [us] so that makes me want to be even better."

CORRECTION

Telemundo 48 producer Rene Delgadillo is a man. An earlier version of this post misidentified his gender.


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