MSNBC: Trump endangering journalists, undermining freedoms with comments about Velshi

MSNBC said President Trump is endangering journalists and undermining freedoms after he told a crowd at a rally that it was a “beautiful sight” when one of the network’s anchors, Ali Velshi, was shot with a rubber bullet during a protest over the death of George Floyd.

“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,” MSNBC said in a statement Saturday. 

The network’s statement was in response to comments the president made at a rally in Minnesota late Friday. 

“I remember this guy Velshi,” Trump said. “He got hit in the knee with a canister of tear gas, and he went down. He was down. ‘My knee. My knee.’ Nobody cared. These guys didn’t care. They moved him aside.”

“And they just walked right through. It was the most beautiful thing,” Trump added. “After we take all that crap for weeks and weeks, and you finally see men get up there and go right through them, wasn’t it really a beautiful sight? It’s called law and order.”

Velshi also responded to the president’s remarks and corrected Trump on the injury he suffered on May 30, noting that he was hit by a rubber bullet, not a tear gas canister. 

“So, @realDonaldTrump, you call my getting hit by authorities in Minneapolis on 5/30/20 (by a rubber bullet, btw, not a tear gas cannister) a ‘beautiful thing’ called ‘law and order’. What law did I break while covering an entirely peaceful (yes, entirely peaceful) march?” Velshi tweeted. 

Velshi was hit while reporting live from a protest in Minneapolis. As police started firing tear gas near Velshi and his crew, Velshi said that “there has been no provocation,” adding that “police pulled into this intersection unprovoked right into the middle of the crowd.” 

Trump has been campaigning on a message of “law and order” for months, amid nationwide protests sparked by the killing of Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. He’s pushed a message that Americans will not be safe under Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, but the Democrat has pushed back, noting that the sometimes violent clashes between demonstrators and police have been ongoing under Trump’s leadership. 

Trump has also long railed against news media, especially MSNBC and its anchors. 

A Trump campaign official claimed the president’s comments at the rally in Minnesota were “distorted.”

“Anybody who was watching knows the President was calling the restoration of peace ‘a beautiful thing,'” the official said in a statement. “This was first distorted by CNN, which described arson-plagued riots as ‘fiery but mostly peaceful,’ so misrepresenting what people can see for themselves is par for the course.”

–Updated at 10:40 a.m.

Tags Ali Velshi Donald Trump George Floyd Joe Biden MSNBC rubber bullets tear gas

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video