Newsweek reports that a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent that was processing people entering Los Angeles International Airport accosted British journalist James Dyer and accused him of being part of the “fake news media.”
“Just went through LAX immigration. Presented my journalist visa and was stopped by the CBP agent and accused of being part of the ‘fake news media'” Dyer tweeted.
“He wanted to know if I’d ever worked for CNN or MSNBC or other outlets that are ‘spreading lies to the American people,'” he continued. “He aggressively told me that journalists are liars and are attacking their democracy.”
CBP spokesperson Jaime Ruiz confirmed that the incident happened. According to Dyer, CBP officials urged him to file a formal complaint, but he doesn’t want to do so, stating that — although he believes the agent was out of line — he doesn’t want the agent to suffer for it.
“Perhaps just CBP could better communicate what is and isn’t appropriate to border personnel. I respect his right to hold whatever views he wishes.”
Dyer added that he nevertheless believes what the agent said was inappropriate.
President Donald Trump often uses the term “fake news” to describe journalism that is critical of him. Per The Inquisitr, he recently lashed out at a reporter with the term after they asked him about his decision to call himself the “chosen one” when speaking about the U.S. trade war with China.
“You know exactly what I meant,” Trump said, adding that the remark was sarcasm and it was said in good fun. He then said that the question was “fake news.”
Journalist says CBP agent stopped him at airport, accused him of being "fake news media" https://t.co/IoQXeNHkib
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) August 24, 2019
Trump has also made claims that voter fraud was the reason that he lost the popular vote in 2016. As The Inquisitr reported, Trump recently made the claim to the crowd at his New Hampshire rally, which prompted Federal Elections Commission Chair Ellen Weintraub to urge Trump to provide evidence to back his claims.
Weintraub suggested Trump is harming the U.S. democracy with his baseless claims and that he will undermine American faith in the country’s democracy if he continues to make such statements.
According to journalist Mehdi Hasan, Trump’s claims are part of a more sinister plan. He suggests the president’s allegations of voter fraud are setting the stage for disputing the results of the 2020 election if he loses. Hasan claims that this would allow Trump to avoid congratulating his opponent and hold a rally that attacks illegal voters and the media.