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A Member Of Trump's Advance Team Blocked A Photographer From Taking A Picture Of A Protester

"The campaign has taken him off the road, and promises that this will not happen again," the White House Correspondents Association president said.

Last updated on August 31, 2018, at 5:36 p.m. ET

Posted on August 30, 2018, at 11:08 p.m. ET

Evan Vucci / AP

A member of President Donald Trump's advance team physically blocked the camera of a photojournalist attempting to capture images of a protester during the president's rally Thursday evening in Indiana.

The moment was captured by another photographer, Evan Vucci of the Associated Press, who posted an image of the scene on Instagram. According to Vucci, the man stretching out his right arm to block the camera was a volunteer member of Trump's advance team.

The unusual action occurred as Reuters photojournalist Kevin Lamarque tried to snap a picture of a protester who had disrupted Trump's rally and was being escorted out of the venue in Evansville, Indiana.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

"Where the hell did she come from?" Trump said of the protester amid a chorus of boos from the crowd.

Reuters did not immediately respond to a request to speak with Lamarque Friday.

However, Lamarque told Time that the man who blocked his camera was Nick Barbknecht, who had been assigned to work with journalists at the event. According to Lamarque, Barbknecht apologized after the incident.

“I told him, ‘That thing you did in the buffer? You can’t do that, it’s a big no-no.’ And he said, ‘I know, I’m sorry,’” Lamarque recalled.

According to his LinkedIn page, Barbknecht lives in Washington, DC, and works for a marketing agency. The agency states that Barbknecht joined the company after "blocking and tackling of Republican politics in Indiana." Barbknecht has tweeted that he is married to McKenzie Barbknecht, a press assistant to Vice President Mike Pence, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Volunteer members of presidential advance teams perform various wrangling jobs, including moving crowds through events, making sure supporters get to their seats, and otherwise ensuring a smooth flow from place to place.

Trump speaks to supporters Thursday night in Indiana.
Timothy D. Easley / AP

Trump speaks to supporters Thursday night in Indiana.

The White House did not respond to a BuzzFeed News request for comment on the incident or provide information about the identity of the man blocking the camera. The US Secret Service also did not respond to inquiries.

On Friday, White House Correspondents Association President Olivier Knox said he had "spoken to both the White House and the Trump campaign. The White House referred me to the campaign."

"The Trump campaign assures me that these were the actions of an inexperienced volunteer, who understands that he acted in error. The campaign has taken him off the road, and promises that this will not happen again," he said.

Trump has attacked the press with increasing fervency during his time as president. His attacks have often come during rallies and in tweets, including Thursday when he reiterated an often-repeated claim that the press is the "enemy of the people."

I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is. Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred & agenda. This includes fake books, which come out about me all the time, always anonymous sources, and are pure fiction. Enemy of the People!

Hundreds of news organizations have condemned Trump's attack on the press. And on Thursday, a California man was arrested after threatening Boston Globe journalists in retaliation against the paper's criticism of Trump's media attacks. The man, Robert Chain, is accused of echoing Trump's "enemy of the people" line.

Trump spent several minutes attacking the media during Thursday night's rally. He singled out the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN, and complained that he is the subject of unfair coverage.

"These are just dishonest, terrible people," Trump said of the media. "I'm telling you that. Terrible people. Not all of them. Honestly, not all of them. I would say 85%."


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