In the middle of a pandemic that has killed nearly 90,000 Americans in just a few months, Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning to applaud a maskless mob of his supporters who chased and harassed a journalist during a conservative group’s rally in Long Island.
In a video shared online by News 12’s Kevin Vesey and retweeted this morning by Trump, the reporter is seen berated, insulted and followed around by a group of the president’s supporters, most of whom weren’t wearing protective masks.
People can’t get enough of this. Great people! https://t.co/b4HM0C298h
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2020
“You are the enemy of the people,” one person said, with another adding, “You are the virus.”
One man proudly showed the reporter his middle finger while saying, “F–k you, you guys are f—king fake news. Yeah, put me on TV, too.”
This isn’t even the first time Trump shared the disturbing video. On Friday, he retweeted it with the caption, “FAKE NEWS IS NOT ESSENTIAL!”
These Trump supporters weren’t just unhinged; they put a reporter’s life at risk
To be clear, what the video showed wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before. Trump supporters have always reacted this way to journalists because nothing angers them more than objective reporting about their bumbling president.
But in this particular case, the president’s mob of backers weren’t just behaving like an unhinged mob; they were putting a reporter’s life at risk.
As News 12 reported, “Vesey says the protesters confronted him at a rally in Commack to reopen Long Island. He says some people came close to him without masks as he tried to file reports on Facebook Live and Twitter.”
On Twitter, Vesey added, “I’ll probably never forget what happened today. I was insulted. I was berated. I was practically chased by people who refused to wear masks in the middle of a pandemic. All the while, I was there to tell THEIR story.”
Once again, Donald Trump is embracing life-endangering behavior simply because the people engaging in it happen to be his supporters.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.