A BBC correspondent shared on social media a video of his colleague being attacked at President Donald Trump’s rally in El Paso, Texas Monday night, laying blame with the increasingly anti-press rhetoric the president spouts at his public appearances, including at this one.
Around the time Trump told the crowd that a wall at the southern U.S. border would cut down on violent crime in the U.S., cameraman Ron Skeans was violently shoved by a Trump supporter wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. The attacker was filmed shouting, “Fuck the media!” as he stormed the press area.
Correspondent Gary O’Donoghue shared footage of the attack, saying it followed Trump’s “goading” of the crowd against journalists and others he considers opponents.
BBC producer Eleanor Montague described the crowd as having been “whipped into a frenzy” by Trump and other speakers, with the president slamming the media as “dishonest” and leading a chant of “CNN sucks!”
The rhetoric was a continuation of Trump’s repeated attacks on the press, which he has denounced as the “enemy of the people” and whose right to report on his administration he has threatened to try to revoke.
Following the attack, the crowd began chanting, “Let him go!” as the man who assaulted Skeans was restrained and led away.
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On Twitter, BBC Americas bureau chief Paul Danahar condemned the attack on Skeans, warning that the aggressive shoving of a cameraman could be a preview of far more dangerous assaults at Trump rallies if the president doesn’t loudly and unequivocally denounce the violence.