According to The Independent, CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta was taunted and heckled at President Trump’s rally in Tampa, Florida, Tuesday night.
During the rally, journalists were greeted by a crowd of the president’s supporters hurling insults and giving them the finger. One man, in particular, was even wearing a t-shirt that read, “F*** the media.”
While some supporters hurled out more general insults, others targeted Acosta and his network specifically. One woman shouted, “Hey Jim, you suck,” while another portion of the crowd chanted, “CNN sucks!”
Acosta posted a brief video of the crowd on Twitter, calling it just “a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa.”
“I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt,” Acosta continued. “We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy.”
The president’s son, Eric Trump, also shared some footage of the rally on Twitter, in which the crowd can be seen and heard chanting, “CNN sucks.” Eric simply captioned the video with one word, “Truth.”
After the president retweeted his son’s video, Acosta quickly reprimanded Eric for his tweet, replying, “No Eric. Not the truth. And you know better.”
Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, however, jumped to the media’s defense via Twitter, claiming, “This isn’t our best. It’s not who we are.” Scaramucci reiterated the importance of the First Amendment and our country’s right to freedom of the press, insisting that everyone’s opinions and views should be protected. “That’s why that Amendment was First,” he added.
President Trump himself later went on to blame the media for not giving enough credit for the country’s recent GDP growth and proceeded to point at reporters, saying, “Fake news, fake news. They are fake.”
WATCH: Supporters of President Trump Chant ‘CNN Sucks’ During Jim Acosta’s Live Spot at Florida Rally pic.twitter.com/2fwQQRVsQf— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) July 31, 2018
Only a few days before the rally, The New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger told the president that his rhetoric about the media is potentially dangerous and harmful. “I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous,” Sulzberger said.
“I told him that although the phrase ‘fake news’ is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists ‘the enemy of the people,'” he continued. “I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.”