GOP senator: FCC must explain ‘manhandling’ reporter
Sen. Chuck Grassley (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.
Earlier on Friday, Sens. Tom Udall (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.