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Trump Campaign Calls CNN Reporter’s Arrest ‘Outrageous,’ Faults Minneapolis’ ‘Failed Leadership’

CNN’s Omar Jimenez was arrested live on air Friday morning while reporting on protests in Minnesota

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign on Friday renewed his criticism of local leadership in Minneapolis Friday — and defended CNN and press rights — by criticizing the on-air arrest of CNN journalist Omar Jimenez and two of his colleagues during coverage of the unrest in the city in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

Mayor Frey & Gov Walz have completely lost control in Minneapolis in a catastrophic display of failed leadership. The city is on fire & they outrageously arrested a CNN crew,” the campaign wrote on its official Twitter account. “@realDonaldTrump called in DOJ to investigate George Floyd’s death. Clear-eyed justice must be served!”

Trump’s criticism of local leadership began overnight as unrest in Minneapolis continued for a third day after George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white police officer. The officer and three colleagues were fired, but none have been charged with a crime, leading to violent protests in Minneapolis.

On Friday morning, Twitter placed a content warning on an angry tweet by Trump that threatened military intervention against demonstrators in Minneapolis with the warning, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The social media company cited its “rules about glorifying violence.”

Late Thursday night, Trump weighed in on the latest developments in the city on Twitter, saying in a pair of tweets: “I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right…..These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

The moment of Jimenez’s arrest was aired Friday morning on CNN’s morning show, “New Day.” As CNN noted in its own write-up of the situation, the camera — which was also taken by police — continued to roll as they were all handcuffed. They were later released.

The Minnesota State Patrol released a statement later Friday morning via Twitter, writing, “In the course of clearing the streets and restoring order at Lake Street and Snelling Avenue, four people were arrested by State Patrol troopers, including three members of a CNN crew. The three were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.” That statement was widely disputed since the crew were broadcasting live as they identified themselves as journalists to the troopers.