During a political rally in Minnesota on Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump mocked MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi for getting hit with a rubber bullet while reporting on the racial injustice protests in Minneapolis earlier this year, CNN reported.
“I remember this guy Velshi,” Trump said.
“He got hit in the knee with a canister of tear gas and he went down. He was down. ‘My knee, my knee.’ Nobody cared, these guys didn’t care, they moved him aside.”
“And they just walked right through,” Trump continued.
“It was the most beautiful thing. No, because after we take all that crap for weeks and weeks, and you finally see men get up there and go right through them, wasn’t it really a beautiful sight? It’s called law and order.”
Although Trump claimed Velshi was hit by a canister of tear gas, the MSNBC anchor quickly tweeted to the president to offer a correction and say he was struck by a rubber bullet. At the time of the incident, Velshi claimed that police officers drove into the intersection unprovoked and began firing rubber bullets in both directions.
In response to Trump’s comments, an MSNBC spokesperson claimed that the U.S. leader was putting the lives of journalists at risk and undermining American freedoms.
“There has been no provocation, there was nothing that happened whatsoever,” they said in a statement.
Trump previously faced criticism for celebrating violence against journalists. Per The New Yorker, the president used a 2018 Missoula, Montana, campaign rally to delight in the assault of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, who was grabbed by the neck and slammed on the ground by Republican Greg Gianforte.
The president has also made light of other violence against reporters and journalists. As The Inquisitr reported, he previously showed a fictional video of himself killing members of the media during a conference at his Miami resort. Elsewhere, he shared a video in which he is portrayed as a wrestler punching an opponent with a CNN logo pasted on their head.
Although Trump’s attacks on reporters are sometimes in jest, he has faced more severe accusations of inciting violence on multiple occasions, as reported by ABC News. During the George Floyd protests, the publication noted that Trump called protesters “thugs” and appeared to condone brutality against looters. Elsewhere, in a private meeting, the head of state allegedly asked whether U.S. officials could shoot migrants who are crossing the border below the waist. He also took aim at the news media just one day after at least 16 pipe bombs were sent to media outlets and prominent Democrats.