Donald Trump praised the removal of journalists “like a little bag of popcorn” at a rally yesterday, in a renewed rebuke of U.S. media.

Speaking at a rally in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, Trump also said that journalists being taken away from live broadcasts is a “beautiful sight”.

“They were grabbing them left and right. Sometimes they grabbed, they grabbed one guy – ‘I’m a reporter, I’m a reporter!’ – get out of here. They threw him aside like he was a little bag of popcorn,” the president said, as attendants to the rally laughed.

“But honestly, when you watch the crap that we’ve all had to take so long, when you see that, it’s actually, you don’t want to do that. But when you see it, it’s actually a beautiful sight. It’s a beautiful sight.”

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Trump then alluded to an instance where a journalist was removed from a broadcast while covering the protests in Minneapolis.

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“They had the same thing on some other streets, and the whole thing was gone and I haven’t head of any real problem in Minneapolis since that happened. I mean, they were just burning down the city and that idiot was standing there [saying] ‘this is a friendly protest’ and behind him was like ten blocks of fire,” Trump.

In late May, when demonstrations spurred in the city following the killing of George Floyd, a CNN journalist and two CNN crew members were arrested while they were covering the protests on a live broadcast.

The president has frequently been at odds with some news channels and newspapers, who he brands as “fake news”.

In December of 2018, while a bomb threat was called in to the Time Warner Center in New York, where CNN’s offices are based, Trump took to Twitter to criticise the media.

“FAKE NEWS – THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” Trump tweeted that evening, only minutes after the New York Police Department said that the bomb threat had been made to the building.

The centre was evacuated and thoroughly searched, but nothing was found to substantiate the threat.

Earlier in September, while appearing on Fox News’ morning show Fox & Friends, the president argued that “much” of the U.S. media was the “enemy of the people,” but that Fox should not be categorized that way.

He claimed that “The New York Times, Washington Post, the networks” should be considered “enemies of the people”. “And nobody said it like I say it, but I say it loud and clear. It’s the enemy of the people”.

After Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy pointed out that he and his colleagues are part of the press as well, asking the president if they were “the enemy of the people” as well, the president retracted.

“No, you’re not,” Trump responded. “About—I would say about 20 percent isn’t—we don’t have the enemy of the people all over, fortunately,” the president said. “But we have tremendous disparity, you have tremendous unfairness in the press.”

Newsweek has contacted the Trump campaign for comment.

Donald Trump Pennsylvania Rally
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Atlantic Aviation on September 22, 2020, in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Trump said it’s a “beautiful sight” when journalists are removed from air “like a little bag of popcorn” at the rally.
Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

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