At a rally in Minnesota, President Trump described an MSNBC anchor hit by a rubber bullet while covering protests after the death of George Floyd in May as “a beautiful sight,” comments quickly condemned by journalists including CNN’s Jake Tapper.
In his remarks, Mr. Trump mistakenly said of Velshi, “he got hit on the knee with a canister of tear gas,” falsely describing Velshi falling to the ground while being ignored by law enforcement officers—a sight the president said was “beautiful. It’s called law and order.”
In a statement, an MSNBC spokesperson said “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.”
Absolutely heinous. @AliVelshi didn’t deserve to be shot by a rubber bullet, anyone celebrating that violence has something wrong with them, and it’s twisted for anyone least of all a president to call it “law and order.” No journalist should find this acceptable. https://t.co/1VDhdfoL1H
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) September 19, 2020
— Lawrence O’Donnell (@Lawrence) September 19, 2020
.@AliVelshi is tough and hard in a way that Trump could never understand. Ali is courageous and put himself in harms way in the name of truth and for the proposition that the American people are entitled to it. Slow down. Think about how sick this is. The cheers are sick. Sick https://t.co/Z2buUqBqlU
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) September 20, 2020