BBC cameraman ‘violently attacked’ at Donald Trump rally

A supporter of President Trump attacked a BBC camera operator during a presidential rally in El Paso on Monday night, the broadcaster said.

“BBC cameraman Ron Skeans was violently pushed and shoved by a member of the crowd while covering a President Trump rally in Texas last night,” a BBC spokesman said in an email on Tuesday.

Washington correspondent Gary O’Donoghue, who is blind, said his colleague Ron Skeans had been filming a rally in El Paso, Texas, when the incident happened.

Describing what unfolded, he said a supporter of Mr Trump, wearing a MAGA hat, got on to the reporters’ platform, and pushed the camera into his colleague, before continuing to push Mr Skeans.

“It was an incredibly violent attack. Fortunately our cameraman is fine, he is made of stern stuff,” Mr O’Donoghue told the Today programme.

Footage captured from Mr Skeans’ camera was posted to Twitter by Mr O’Donoghue and shows the shot focused on Mr Trump before jolting away.

As the camera appears to visibly bounce around for around 10 seconds, the screen then focuses on a man in a red cap who is being restrained by another man in a black t-shirt.

“This is a constant feature of these rallies – a goading of the crowds against the media,” Mr O’Donoghue added.

“I have been spat at before, they hurl abuse at American colleagues in particular.”

Mr Trump reportedly checked the cameraman was well with a thumbs up before continuing his speech.

A campaign official for Mr Trump afterwards suggested the attacker was drunk, according to the BBC.

Mr O’Donoghue said Mr Trump’s 2020 election campaign, which he thinks has begun, will be as “hostile and ill-tempered and divisive as the one we saw last time”.

Donald Trump has repeatedly criticised the press as ‘fake news’ and ‘the enemy of the American people’.

Sections of his speeches at rallies feature anti-press language with chants such as ‘CNN sucks’ common.

New York Times publisher AG Sulzberger has urged the president to stop his media assaults without success.

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