MSNBC says that Donald Trump is endangering the lives of journalists after the president mocked reporter Ali Velshi for getting shot in the leg with a rubber bullet by police while covering a protest.
Velshi was shot by police with a rubber bullet on-air back in May while covering protests in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd. On Friday, Trump spoke at a rally in Minnesota and called the sight of Velshi being hit in the leg as “the most beautiful thing” and an example of “law and order.”
“Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy. When the president mocks a journalist for the injury he sustained while putting himself in harm’s way to inform the public, he endangers thousands of other journalists and undermines our freedoms,” an MSNBC said in a statement.
Velshi himself responded to the president on Saturday morning after hearing his comments, asking, “What law did I break while covering an entirely peaceful (yes, entirely peaceful) march?”
Trump incorrectly referred to Velshi being hit by a canister of tear gas rather than a rubber bullet and mocked him as though the reporter was wailing, “My knee, my knee,” earning jeers and applause from the crowd.
“He got hit on the knee with a canister of tear gas, and he went down. He was down. ‘My knee, my knee,'” Trump said mockingly at his rally from Bemidji, Minnesota. “Nobody cared, these guys didn’t care. They moved him aside. And they just walked right through. It was the most beautiful thing.”
See video from Trump’s rally below, and watch the coverage of Velshi covering the Minneapolis protests back in May above.
"He got hit on the knee with a canister of tear gas," President Trump says, of @AliVelshi, who was actually hit by a rubber bullet. "Wasn't it really a beautiful sight? It's called law and order." pic.twitter.com/sVvnZUft5B
— David Gura (@davidgura) September 19, 2020