President Trump continues to mock MSNBC’s Ali Velshi for getting hit with a rubber bullet while covering Minneapolis protests, repeating the story on Tuesday at a Pennsylvania rally after initially calling it a “beautiful sight” last week during a campaign event.
“That idiot reporter from CNN got hit on the knee with a canister of tear gas, right, and he went down,” Trump said on Tuesday of the reporter who actually works for MSNBC.
Trump then imitated Velshi saying, “I’ve been hit, I’ve been hit,” as the crowd laughed.
“The one with the shaved head,” Trump said of Velshi. “He went down and he didn’t like it. He was hit.”
Trump told a similar story on Friday during a campaign rally, prompting Velshi to respond via Twitter. The MSNBC reporter said he was hit with a rubber bullet, not tear gas and asked the president what he was doing wrong.
“So, @realDonaldTrump, you call my getting hit by authorities in Minneapolis on 5/30/20 (by a rubber bullet, btw, not a tear gas cannister) a “beautiful thing” called “law and order,” he wrote. “What law did I break while covering an entirely peaceful (yes, entirely peaceful) march?”
MSNBC also issued a statement, calling free press a “pillar of our democracy” and condemning Trump’s comments.
"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,” an MSNBC spokesperson said in a statement last week.
Velshi is the same reporter who famously declared in May that chaos in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd was "'generally speaking unruly" while standing in front of a burning building.