CNN media reporter Brian Stelter on Sunday aired a clip of a C-SPAN caller threatening to shoot him and fellow CNN anchor Don Lemon.
The caller, identified as “Don,” accused Stelter and Lemon of “calling Trump supporters all racists,” a claim Stelter immediately refuted.
“They don’t even know these Americans out here and they are calling us racists because we voted for Trump?” Don said in the call on Friday. “Come on. Give me a break. They started the war. I see them, I’m going to shoot them.”
Before airing the clip, Stelter noted that his colleagues and reporters at other networks get similar or worse threats, and noted that such calls and emails are “coming in more often.”
“I’m not asking for sympathy. I don’t think I’m in extreme danger, I know some of my colleagues get much worse threats than I do,” Stelter said. “CNN has a great security team and we know how to handle this stuff.”
Stelter aired the clip just hours after President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE ramped up his attacks on the press. In a Sunday morning tweet, Trump again called the press “the enemy of the people,” and claimed that they “can also cause War!”
The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018
Stelter also aired a clip of MSNBC’s Katy Tur saying that she and a couple of her female colleagues had received emails saying, “I hope you get raped and killed.”
“And in case you want to argue that this has nothing to do with the president, the most recent note I got ended with ‘MAGA,’ ” Tur said, referring to the acronym for Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.
Critics of the president have warned that Trump’s constant attacks on the media could lead to violence against journalists — concerns that increased earlier this year after a gunman killed five staff members at a Maryland newspaper.
On Friday, New York Times conservative columnist Bret Stephens wrote a column noting that he has also received violent threats from people “whose views clearly align with Donald Trump’s.”
“We are approaching a day when blood on the newsroom floor will be blood on the president’s hands,” Stephens wrote.