U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Cameraman, other reporters attacked at Trump rally

Incident Details

Date of Incident
February 11, 2019
El Paso, Texas


Was the journalist targeted?
REUTERS/Leah Millis

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas, on Feb. 11. During the rally, one of his supporters violently shoved members of the press. No charges have been filed.

— REUTERS/Leah Millis
February 11, 2019

A man wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat attacked a group of reporters, including BBC News cameraman Ron Skeans, during a Trump rally in El Paso, Texas, on Feb. 11, 2019.

Video of the altercation shows the man, whose identity has not been released, running onto the press risers and then pushing journalists and cameras, while shouting, “Fuck the media!” After security restrains the man and begins escorting him out of the rally, the crowd begins chanting, “Let him go!”

Skeans told BBC News that the man gave him a “very hard shove” and tried to knock him and his camera over. BBC News later broadcast a report on the attack narrated by Gary O’Donoghue, the network’s Washington correspondent.

“At first, he pushes the camera from behind into my cameraman,” O’Donoghue said in the segment. “As he passes, he shoves violently once again, before being restrained.”

O’Donoghue reported that Trump appeared to notice the commotion in the press area and asked, “Everything OK?” but did not condemn the attack.

Although the man was forcibly escorted out of the rally, he was not arrested or charged with any crime.

“We have not reviewed any material from law enforcement for charges at this time,” an El Paso district attorney spokesperson told The Daily Beast. "No charges will be filed until we do."

After the White House Correspondents Association called on Trump to condemn attack, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement: “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."

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect the correct year of the incident.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].