Sarah Sanders: ‘Absurd’ to say Trump has encouraged violence at rallies

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was “absurd” for people to suggest that President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE incites violence at rallies after a BBC cameraman was shoved at the president's event in El Paso, Texas, on Monday night.

“The idea that the president or anybody on his team or in his administration would encourage violence is absolutely absurd,” Sanders said Wednesday on “Fox & Friends.” 


“The president stopped, asked and made sure everyone was OK before continuing on with the event. Certainly, we condemn violence in any form against anyone, and that certainly includes the press.” 

A man wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat was seen shoving and swearing at the cameraman Monday night, which the BBC said occurred after Trump “heavily criticized the media at the rally.” 

Cameraman Ron Skeans told the BBC he was surprised by the “very hard shove,” though he was not seriously injured. Trump appeared to check that he was OK by giving a thumbs-up before he continued his speech.

The White House had previously put out a statement Tuesday saying Trump “condemns all acts of violence against any individual or group of people - including members of the press” and asking rally attendees to be peaceful and respectful.

Following the incident, the BBC requested the White House conduct a “review of security arrangements for the media.” The White House Correspondents’ Association also called on the president to “make absolutely clear to his supporters that violence against reporters is unacceptable.”

Trump has had an acrimonious relationship with the media since he began his presidential campaign in 2015. He has repeatedly slammed mainstream outlets as “fake news” and praised Rep. Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteTrump declares Gorka 'wins big' after clash with reporters in Rose Garden Republican who lost Montana Senate bid to run for House next year Gianforte files to run for Montana governor MORE (R-Mont.), who pleaded guilty to assaulting a journalist in 2016, for that precise attack.