Sam Husseini, the journalist forcibly ejected from President Trump’s joint press conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, spoke out on Tuesday in a piece for The Nation, the magazine he represented at the event.
In his piece, Husseini insisted that he had hoped to ask Trump and Putin questions about nuclear non-proliferation and that a suspicious homemade sign he brought to the event had not been intended as a protest, but rather to “draw Trump or Putin’s attention.”
“I came to Helsinki to ask Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin questions about the threat of nuclear weapons and to distribute an open letter about the need for secure elections and true national security,” said Husseini. “I came up with the idea of holding up a small piece of paper that might draw Trump or Putin’s attention. We settled on a reference to the treaty that Russia and the United States are blocking: nuclear weapon ban treaty.”
Finnish security at the conference didn’t buy it, however, and Husseini was ultimately taken away, cuffed and placed into temporary detention.
“I was taken to a small room downstairs where I was told that Finnish law allows for police to detain me for 24 hours without charge,” he wrote. “As I was moved outside, I hollered to onlookers, “This is freedom of press in Finland!” At that point, officers started tackling me to the ground, and my legs and hands were cuffed.”
On Tuesday, Husseini caused a scene after he was removed from conference hall in Helsinki. Journalists waiting for Trump and Putin to approach their lecterns were surprised and originally had no idea for the cause of the problems. Video captured by Cheddar correspondent J.D. Durkin — sitting just behind Husseini — shows the dramatic moment.