Trump supporter attacks BBC cameraman at Texas rally

Trump supporter attacks BBC cameraman at Texas rally

El Paso: A BBC cameraman, assaulted during a speech by US President Donald Trump, was the victim of an "incredibly violent attack", it has been claimed.

Washington correspondent Gary O'Donoghue, who is blind, said his colleague Ron Skeans had been filming a rally in El Paso, Texas, when the incident happened.

A Trump supporter (centre) is restrained after he storms the media area where journalists including BBC reporter Gary O’Donoghue (second from left) were working.Credit:Bloomberg

Describing what unfolded, he said a supporter of Trump got on to the reporters' platform, and pushed the camera into his colleague, before continuing to push Skeans.

"It was an incredibly violent attack. Fortunately our cameraman is fine, he is made of stern stuff," O'Donoghue said.

Footage captured from Skeans' camera was posted to Twitter by O'Donoghue and shows the shot focused on Trump before jolting away.

As the camera appears to visibly bounce around for about 10 seconds, the screen then focuses on a man in a red cap who is being restrained by another man in a black t-shirt.

"This is a constant feature of these rallies – a goading of the crowds against the media," O'Donoghue added.

"I have been spat at before, they hurl abuse at American colleagues in particular."

As the attacker was being escorted off the reporters' platform, the crowd started shouting: "Let him go! Let him go!"

A Trump campaign official suggested the attacker was drunk.

Trump, who has often referred to the press as "the enemy of the people", looked towards the platform and asked if everyone was OK, giving a thumbs up. The BBC cameraman responded with a thumbs up.

Footage from the rally also showed a small handful of anti-Trump protesters being shoved, punched and physically removed from the venue by Trump supporters.

O'Donoghue said Trump's 2020 election campaign, which he thinks has begun, will be as "hostile and ill-tempered and divisive as the one we saw last time".

Reporters Without Borders said they were looking into the incident.

PA, Fairfax Media

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