On Saturday, US President Donald Trump lauded anti-lockdown protesters in Long Island who also reportedly harassed a local TV reporter.
Last week, a rally was organised in Commack, New York where several pro-Trump supporters belonging to the Setauket Patriots group had turned up in large numbers to urge authorities to reopen the United States. Kevin Vesey, who is a reporter with News 12 Long Island, was at the venue to cover the event.
As per a video posted by Vesey, the protesters did not quite welcome his presence there and harassed him. Some can even be heard telling him that he was "the virus" and that he should get out. At one point, fearing physical assault, Vesey can be seen asking a protester to back off. Another interesting fact? Most of the protesters didn't bother to wear a mask.
Trump retweeted the video posted by Vesey and wrote, "People can’t get enough of this. Great people!” In another tweet, he wrote "fake news is not essential" indicating that Vesey and the channel he represents spread fake news.
“FAKE NEWS IS NOT ESSENTIAL!”https://t.co/5286zgRVWQ — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2020
Later in the video, hen Vesey asks the protesters to back off, one of them says that "he's got hydroxychloroquine, so he's okay." HCQ Is the drug which Trump had promoted as miraculous and the only solution against coronavirus. Studies later revealed that the drug may not be that useful after all.
This is not the first time Trump has attacked the media. In all his years of presidency, one of the things that have remained constant is Trump's disdain and hostility towards journalists and media channels. He hates being questioned or criticised, more so if the people asking the questions are women.