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UK foreign secretary condemns attack on BBC cameraman at Trump rally


LONDON (Reuters) – British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Tuesday condemned an attack on a BBC cameraman by a supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas.

Asked on Tuesday by Sky News whether it was acceptable for Trump to whip up his fans to the point that a cameraman was attacked, Hunt said: “It is never acceptable when journalists and cameramen are attacked just for doing their job.”

Wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap, the man was seen shoving BBC camera man Ron Skeans before being pulled away on Monday, according to a BBC video.

Trump has frequently attacked the news media for what he views as unfair coverage, decrying some outlets as peddlers of “fake news” and “enemy of the people.”

News outlets have pushed back, with New York Times (NYT.N) publisher A.G. Sulzberger joining others in saying that Trump’s language has increased the prospect of journalists facing violence, both in the United States and abroad.

“There is a broader issue here which is that last year 80 journalists were killed across the world just for doing their job,” Hunt said. “We are very worried about this.”

The BBC reported that the Trump supporter pushed and cursed at Skeans during the rally and published video of the encounter that ends with the supporter being restrained and moved away from the media area.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt speaks to the media during the informal meeting of the European Union foreign ministers in Bucharest, Romania, January 31, 2019. Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via REUTERS

“Are you alright?” Trump asked after seeing the encounter, giving a thumbs up to the cameraman. “Everything OK?”

The BBC said it wrote a letter to the White House asking for a “review of security arrangements” for media covering Trump’s rallies. Skeans suffered no lasting harm, the BBC said.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat who is mulling a run for the presidency, urged Trump to rein in his supporters, the Hill reported.

Reporting by James Davey; Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Stephen Addison and Jeffrey Benkoe

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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