WATCH: Trump’s Overzealous Secret Service Agent Choke-Slams Journalist At Rally (VIDEO)
Photojournalist choke-slammed to the ground at a Donald Trump rally.
It’s official: GOP campaign events are now a full-contact sport. Yet another Trump rally — this time on Monday in Radford, VA — devolved into violence as a photojournalist got choke-slammed to the ground by someone identified as one of Donald Trump’s secret service agents.
Raw Story reports Gabby Morrongiello from the Washington Examiner caught Christopher Morris — whose award-winning photographs have appeared in Time and other publications — being manhandled by Donald Trump’s secret service agent. Yet the photographer is also shown kicking back and putting up a bit of a fight.
This is how reporters are treated at Trump rallies pic.twitter.com/hMxuEoKVeG
— Gabby Morrongiello (@gabriellahope_) February 29, 2016
Donald Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks is the one who said the man in the pink tie doing the assaulting is a secret service agent, and otherwise told The Hill she knows nothing.
“There was an incident involving a photographer and a USSS agent at today’s Radford University Trump rally. We are not aware of all details surrounding the incident and all future inquiries should be directed to local law enforcement. ”
Bryan Anderson, a reporter for The Pendulum tweeted that Christopher Morris got thrown out after he had pushed a “member of security” out of the way while attempting to take a photo. Yet a dazed Morris told Jim Acosta from CNN that all he did was step out of bounds:
“I stepped 18 inches out of the pen and he grabbed me by the neck and started choking me then he slammed me to the ground,”
Morris was later allowed to return to the rally, where he made amends and shook hands with the secret service agent.
Time Magazine responds to the Trump rally incident with Christopher Morris.
Time Magazine swiftly responded to the incident with their photographer and the secret service agent, explaining:
Chris Morris, a veteran White House photographer working on the campaign for TIME, stepped out of the press pen to photograph a Black Lives Matter protest that interrupted the speech.
Time confirmed the video and onlookers’ accounts of the choke-slam, writing that “the agent then grabbed Morris’ neck with both hands and threw him into a table and onto the ground.” They also pointed out that — while other presidential campaigns let reporters and photographers to move about during events — Donald Trump’s events are overly restrictive and require them to stay in a gated area. Perhaps Christopher Morris forgot.
TIME has contacted the U.S. Secret Service to express concerns about the level and nature of the agent’s response. Morris has also expressed remorse for his part in escalating the confrontation. A TIME spokesperson said, “We are relieved that Chris is feeling OK, and we expect him to be back at work soon.”
This certainly isn’t the first violent incident to occur at a Donald Trump rally, where protesters and journalists have been repeatedly assaulted by security guards or bystanders. And on Sunday, a protester got roughed up at a Marco Rubio event for holding up a sign that (correctly) called him out as an “empty suit.” So much for the Republicans being the party of “law and order.” Next time you go to one of their events, remember to bring a helmet and maybe some body armor.
Featured image: Video screen grab Gabby Morrongiello/Twitter.
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Elisabeth Parker is a writer, web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante.