BBC Cameraman Attacked at Trump Rally

Wednesday, 13 Feb, 2019

Mr O'Donoghue added that he had been "spat at before". Skeans reportedly gave the president a thumbs up and the rally continued. The president could see the incident and checked with us that all was okay.

At the same time, El Paso District Attorney Jaime Esparza announced his office isn't planning on pressing charges against the man who attacked cameraman Ron Skeans.

The man nearly knocked over the journalist and his equipment twice before being pulled away.

In the tweeted footage, a man wearing a red MAGA cap is pulled away from the cameraman by a man in a black shirt.

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. The attacker was filmed shouting, "Fuck the media!" as he stormed the press area. Chants of "let him go" can also be held ringing out from a small section of the rally, where earlier the president had repeatedly cast aspersions on the media.

'It is clearly unacceptable for any of our staff to be attacked for doing their job'.

The BBC's Washington editor Eleanor Montague the crowd had been "whipped up into a frenzy" before Mr Skeans was assaulted.

Michael Glassner, chief operating officer of Trump's re-election campaign, said an individual "involved in a physical altercation with a news cameraman" was removed from the rally. The cameraman told the BBC he was caught unaware by a "very hard shove". Trump said during the incident, gesturing toward the press pen. "It's important that the president at some point, sooner rather than later, goes on television - not just tweets but goes on television - and says that reporters and journalists are not enemies of the people".

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci condemned Trump's supporters at the Florida rally on Twitter, saying the behaviour was "not who we are".

The attack on my colleague at President Trump's El Paso rally was aggressive & unpleasant but not life threatening. The El Paso police department told TIME it was "still gathering" information.

Mr Trump's "Finish the Wall" rally in El Paso was the first dueling rallies of the 2020 campaign season.

As the footage shows, Skeans was recording Trumps speech when the footage suddenly stumbles forwards as he is hit.