During President Donald Trump's speech at a campaign rally (his first of 2019), a frenzied supporter of his lunged at a BBC journalist in the press pool, shouting "F**k the media," shoving reporters, and overturning a camera.
The supporter's actions were caught on video.
Trump supporter 'violently attacks' BBC cameraman at rally after US president whips up anger over media https://t.co/4XoTA2TQtp— The Independent (@The Independent)1549965446.0
The attack received swift backlash from journalism institutions everywhere, including the White House Correspondents Association.
Statement on attack on journalist at president’s rally. https://t.co/cdyMl9C2NO— WHCA (@WHCA)1549998819.0
Now, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has released a statement regarding the matter.
“President Trump condemns all acts of violence against any individual or group of people - including members of the press. We ask that anyone attending an event do so in a peaceful and respectful manner."
The idea that Trump condemns all acts of violence—especially at his rallies—is demonstrably false.
He's previously fantasized about punching protestors in the face.
Trump complains they can't rough up detractors, "I'd like to punch him in the mouth!" https://t.co/vPlhaShRnz— Angelo Carusone (@Angelo Carusone)1456202571.0
He suggested "Second Amendment people" do something about Hillary Clinton.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump actually suggested that “Second Amendment people” could assassinate Hillary Clinton… https://t.co/veOFqcji4O— Keith Boykin (@Keith Boykin)1530194431.0
He encouraged attendees of his rally to "knock the crap" out of protestors as well, assuring he'd pay the court costs of anyone who did.
And I don’t want to hear Trump supporters say a damn word about Eric Holder. Trump told his rally supporters to f… https://t.co/bo1cLZAxkN— Keith Boykin (@Keith Boykin)1539276097.0
Trump has called for cops to be rougher on suspects.
Trump just called for cops to rough up suspects more in front of a crowd of cops, they cheered https://t.co/f2BMSX56hw— Colin Jones (@Colin Jones)1501267308.0
It wasn't long before people began pointing this out.
@Acosta except when he is inciting violence. Then he's ok with it.— Joe Lockhart (@Joe Lockhart)1550006523.0
@Acosta @Nitemists “Ht him and I’ll pay the legal bills.” -Donald trump— 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝⋮ℒℯℯ𝒜𝓃𝓃 (@𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝⋮ℒℯℯ𝒜𝓃𝓃)1550009427.0
Trump has spoken in the past about whether or not his rhetoric incites violence.
He's categorically denied that his words have led to anyone becoming violent toward the President's critics, before calling journalists violent for even asking the question.
Asked about new @ABC News/WaPo poll finding 49% believe he encourages politically motivated violence with the way h… https://t.co/ZHgeYjCoyu— ABC News (@ABC News)1541206904.0
However, Trump supporters like the man who attacked the BBC cameraman, have previously committed or attempted to commit acts of violence that go hand in hand with Trump's past rhetoric.
Late last year, Cesar Sayoc was arrested for mailing bombs to perceived enemies of the President, such as liberal donor George Soros, Trump's 2016 opposing candidate Hillary Clinton, 2020 candidate and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), and the President's least favorite news network CNN—to name a few.
Sayoc's car was festooned with Pro-Trump stickers and other paraphernalia.
#AgeOfTrump remembering After a frenzied nationwide search for the person who sent 13 makeshift bombs to some of… https://t.co/I3z6p2uoHj— Jon Smyth (@Jon Smyth)1545323456.0
@realDonaldTrump @shannonrwatts Van that reportedly belongs to Florida man Cesar Sayoc is covered in photos of med… https://t.co/sTUIb4eo8v— LJLassiter (@LJLassiter)1540581121.0
Thankfully, none of these bombs detonated, but Trump supporters have often engaged in physical violence as a possible result of the President's rhetoric.
Trump supporter punches protester in the face. Imagine if it were the other way around they would call him a thug. https://t.co/l4owKOYZGB— Markeece Young (@Markeece Young)1457632159.0
A Trump supporter punches a protestor at the candidate's rally in Tucson, Arizona. Video by crieker (on IG) https://t.co/oHziNxZ4p7— Fresco News (@Fresco News)1458432713.0
Trump supporter walks into NYC anti-hate rally, punches black man in the face https://t.co/mwTLOqnm4u— Kira Lerner (@Kira Lerner)1460673605.0
Trump supporter chokes, punches, slaps multiple anti-Trump protesters. Guess who gets kicked out? https://t.co/Qibm0fz3I4— Splinter (@Splinter)1473838210.0
Whether or not the President intends to incite violence is irrelevant if he can't grasp that, when he speaks, his supporters listen to him.