President Trump built on his record of praising and promoting violence against the media on Tuesday, relishing the scene of a reporter getting thrown like “a little bag of popcorn” as a “beautiful sight.”
“They threw him aside like he was a little bag of popcorn,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Pennsylvania. “But I mean honestly, when you watch the crap that we’ve all had to take so long…when you see it, it’s actually a beautiful sight.”
While the comments drew laughs from the crowd, it was Trump who appeared most pleased while recounting scenes of journalists in physical pain during encounters with law enforcement officials.
That sense of satisfaction shined through on Tuesday when the president disparagingly mimicked an “idiot reporter” from CNN—though apparently in reference to Ali Velshi of MSNBC—who “got hit in the knee with a canister of tear gas” while covering the protests in Minneapolis in May. Trump also mocked Velshi—who was hit by a rubber bullet, not tear gas—at a rally in Minnesota on Sunday, where he called the injury a “beautiful” moment.
The remarks, of course, are familiar territory for a president who has long celebrated violence against members of the media. In 2018, he praised Rep. Greg Gianforte, the Montana congressman how is now running for governor, who is best known for body-slamming a Guardian campaign reporter who asked him about Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “Any guy that can do a body-slam, he is my kind of guy,” Trump told supporters at a Missoula rally. He also refused to condemn a gory video that aired during a pro-Trump political gathering at his Florida resort. It depicted the president murdering journalists in a gleeful shooting spree.
"They grabbed a guy – ‘I'm a reporter! I'm a reporter!' – ‘Get out of here!' They threw him aside like a bag of popcorn. But honestly, when you watch the crap we've all had to take…it's actually a beautiful sight"-Trump glorifies violence against journos pic.twitter.com/UAENo59vrR
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 23, 2020