GOP senator: FCC must explain 'manhandling' reporter

GOP senator: FCC must explain 'manhandling' reporter
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Trump: 'Great to see' Pelosi plan to lower drug prices Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices MORE (R-Iowa) on Friday called for the Federal Communications Commission to explain why a reporter was "manhandled" by security guards at the agency's headquarters a day earlier. The Republican Grassley joins Democrats that previously raised concerns about the incident. 

“The Federal Communications Commission needs to take a hard look at why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again," Grassley said in a statement. "As The Washington Post pointed out, it’s standard operating procedure for reporters to ask questions of public officials after meetings and news conferences. It happens all day, every day."

"There’s no good reason to put hands on a reporter who’s doing his or her job,” he added.

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Earlier on Friday, Sens. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Energy: Trump to revoke California's tailpipe waiver | Democrats propose bill to revoke Trump endangered species rollback | Trump officials finalize rule allowing fewer inspectors at pork plants Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Democrats propose bill to revoke Trump endangered species rollback MORE (D-N.M.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, warning that the incident appeared to be part of a trend of harsh treatment of journalists by the Trump administration.

John Donnelly, a reporter for CQ Roll Call, was pinned against a wall at the FCC on Thursday after reportedly trying to ask FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly a question before a scheduled news conference. He was then ejected from the building.

"We apologized to Mr. Donnelly more than once and let him know that the FCC was on heightened alert today based on several threats,” an FCC spokesman told The Hill in an email Thursday.