A Trump supporter wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and shouting anti-media slogans “violently shoved” a BBC cameraman during the President’s Monday night rally in El Paso, Texas.
The British Broadcasting Corporation asked the White House for a review of security arrangements on Tuesday after the cameraman was assaulted during the rally at the border.
Ron Skeans was unhurt in the attack and the man was restrained and removed from the platform where the media had assembled. Skeans told BBC News he did not see his attacker approach but felt a “very hard shove” that almost knocked him over.
Paul Danahar, the broadcaster’s Americas bureau editor, said he had asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders for a “full review of security arrangements after last night’s attack”. He said no one in law enforcement intervened before, during or after the incident and “access into the media area was unsupervised”.
BBC Washington correspondent Gary O’Donoghue said his cameraman was pushed and shoved by the unidentified assailant in “an incredibly violent attack”.
He said the man tried to smash the camera “after the President repeatedly goaded the crowd over supposed media bias” but added: “Happily Ron is fine.”
A campaign official for Mr Trump later suggested the attacker was drunk, the BBC reported.
Eleanor Montague, BBC Washington news editor, tweeted the crowd had been whipped up into a frenzy against the media by Mr Trump and other speakers throughout the night.
Mr Trump paused after the commotion in the crowd and pointed at the media, asking, “You all right? Everything OK?” and giving a thumbs-up.
The President has caused concern by regularly denouncing the media during his rallies, often telling the crowd to turn and tell members of press what is wrong with them.
He frequently refers to the media as “fake news” and the “enemy of the people”, insisting journalists are biased and out to bring him down.
CNN last year filmed Trump supporters shouting abuse and swearing at reporters during a Florida rally. Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci condemned the behaviour at the time, saying this was “not who we are”.
New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger took the unprecedented step last month of urging the President during an interview to tone down what he called his “potentially dangerous” rhetoric towards the press.
Last August, the United Nations experts warned that Mr Trump’s anti-media diatribes increased the risk of violence against journalists.