A BCC cameraman came under “violent attack” from a Trump supporter at Monday night’s rally in El Paso, Texas.
BBC Washington News Editor Eleanor Montague shared footage from the rally and the attack, writing “Just attended my first @realdonaldtrump rally where my colleague BBC cameraman Rob Skeans was attacked by a Trump supporter,” adding, “The crowd had been whipped up into a frenzy against the media by Trump and other speakers all night.”
The assailant, wearing a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap, can be seen leaping onto the reporters’ platform where he gave Skeans a “very hard shove” in the face. He shouted “f*ck the media” twice before being led away by security.
His attack came just moments after Trump repeatedly blasted the “fake news” from his podium and claimed that liberal media outlets are “in collusion” with the Democratic Party, triggering jeers from the crowd and chants of “CNN sucks.”
“I didn’t know what was going on,” Skeans told the BBC. He said that the man nearly knocked him and his equipment over twice before “before he was wrestled away by a blogger,” adding that Trump had seen the attack and checked to make sure he was ok with a thumbs up—continuing his speech after Skeans returned the gesture, though neglecting to mention the incident.
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 pic.twitter.com/Oiw8osPms3— Eleanor Montague (@EleanorMontague) February 12, 2019
Photographer Jorge Salgado shared footage from a different angle.
“Just had a man shove photogs and equipment over,” he captioned the video. “Here’s a video of him being dragged out of press row.”
The majority of the comments replying to Montague’s video voiced sadness, concern, and anger at the president’s refusal to stop inciting violence against journalists and consistently labeling media “the enemy of the people.”
So sorry to hear this. Trump and the GOP learned NOTHING from the Capital Gazette shooting. They are going to get people killed.— Adam Best (@adamcbest) February 12, 2019
Even a so-called "president" should not be allowed to incite violence. How is he not held to the highest standard? Instead his hatemongering, fearmongering, lies and propaganda go on, unimpeded, for months and years almost daily putting many people in danger.— Jamie Schler (@lifesafeast) February 12, 2019
We’ve basically blessed hate speech. Every time. It’s shameful.— Nelba Márquez-Greene, 🇵🇷🇨🇦 (@Nelba_MG) February 12, 2019
Somebody is going to get killed. And the GOP will do nothing.— Never-Trumps Are Not Our Friends (@ElaineEdwards5) February 12, 2019
Wow. I’m a journalist in New York who was in Charlottesville I feel there will be more and more of this as Trump becomes more unhinged please report this on the BBC— Sandi Bachom (@sandibachom) February 12, 2019
Absolutely outrageous that decent men and women should be put in this danger by cheap, irresponsible politics and idiots who get stirred up by inflammatory speeches. https://t.co/38SpdK4ugy— John Simpson (@JohnSimpsonNews) February 12, 2019
Anyone who's been at one of these rallies will be aware of the hostility that's whipped up towards the media. Whatever your political point of view, it's pretty disgusting. https://t.co/o94s53EyVn— Rachel Burden (@rachelburden) February 12, 2019
According to the BBC, Trump saw the attack, which makes it worse because -- though he "confirmed Mr. Skeans was well with a thumbs up after it happened" -- he didn't say anything to his supporters discouraging violence or threats against the press https://t.co/AIltkzNTAL— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) February 12, 2019
Back in July, CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta shared footage of President Trump shouting abuse and swearing at journalists reporting on a rally in Florida last year.
Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa. I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy. pic.twitter.com/IhSRw5Ui3R— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 1, 2018
According to BBC, a Trump campaign official suggested afterwards the unnamed assailant was drunk.