Trump national spokesperson Katrina Pierson has had a rough August. First, she suggested President Obama, who took office in 2009, was somehow responsible for the 2004 death of Muslim American solider Capt. Humayun Khan in Iraq. A couple weeks later, she blamed Obama for invading Afghanistan, even though that also happened during George W. Bush’s first term.
On Monday, Pierson delivered again. While discussing the media’s alleged desire to destroy her boss on Fox Business, Pierson said “the voters” are “tired of seeing left-wing reporters literally beat Trump supporters into submission, into supporting policies they don’t agree with.”
Suffice it to say there have been no documented instances of reporters beating on Trump supporters. On the other hand, there is a precedent for Trump staff laying hands on a journalist. In March, Trump’s then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was charged with simple battery after he grabbed then-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields at a campaign event. The charges were dropped, but video of the incident shows Lewandowski grabbing Fields’ arm.
On more than one occasion in recent weeks, Trump’s anti-media rhetoric has fired up his supporters to the point where they’ve confronted journalists covering the events. In a piece published in Marie Claire this past weekend, NBC reporter Katy Tur wrote about how she had to be escorted out of a Trump rally in South Carolina in December after Trump singled her out for criticism. And as Trump has ramped up his anti-media rhetoric in recent weeks, his rallies have become increasingly precarious places for journalists to work:
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) August 11, 2016
Yeesh. About five separate instances of people coming up to press pen to tell us how much they hate us (or some variation.)
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) August 14, 2016
Meanwhile, despite her string of gaffes, the Trump campaign continues to back Pierson. On Sunday, CNN’s Brian Stelter pressed Trump senior communications advisor Jason Miller about whether he thinks Pierson should continue to appear on TV.
“Katrina is a great advocate for the campaign,” Miller said, before blaming her confusion about whether the invasion of Afghanistan or Obama’s inauguration came first on a faulty earpiece. Pierson didn’t indicate she was having any trouble with her earpiece during the interview and Stelter said he wasn’t aware of the network experiencing technical problems.