The BBC has requested a White House review of security arrangements at Donald Trump rallies following an incident in El Paso last night in which a BBC camera operator was shoved hard enough to capture the president’s attention from the stage.
Shouting “f*ck the media,” the Trump supporter at last night’s rally blindsided BBC camera operator Ron Skeans with two hard shoves, Skeans says. In video (watch it below), a man wearing a MAGA hat is restrained by an unidentified bystander as he shouts obscenities. The attacker was removed from the rally by security.
The BBC condemned the attack and has contacted White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, “asking for a review of security arrangements for the media attending the president’s rallies following the attack.”
According to Paul Danaher, BBC’s Americas Bureau Editor, “Access into the media area was unsupervised. No one in law enforcement intervened before, during or after the attack.”
“It is clearly unacceptable for any of our staff to be attacked for doing their job,” the BBC said in a statement on Tuesday.
“This is the shameful moment when my cameraman Ron Skeans was attacked at an @realDonaldTrump rally in El Paso last night,” tweeted BBC Washington correspondent Gary O’Donoghue. “warning this video contains strong language. Happily Ron is fine. #TrumpElPaso”.
Eleanor Montague, BBC Washington producer, was also in attendance at the rally, and tweeted, “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”.
Skeans told the BBC that the shover pushed him twice, almost knocking his camera over before being restrained by “a blogger.” The BBC reported that Trump “checked they were well with a thumbs up, and continued his speech after Mr Skeans returned the gesture.”
“I didn’t know what was going on,” Skeans told the BBC, describing the push as a “very hard shove.”
Montague said that the shover attacked other news crews but that Skeans “got the brunt of it.” The BBC team was later told by a campaign official that the “attacker was drunk.”
“This is a constant feature of these rallies,” O’Donoghue said on BBC radio this morning, “a goading of the crowds against the media.”
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