A CNN journalist covering the campaign of Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump was threatened with having his credentials pulled–and being “blacklisted” by the campaign–for leaving a designated “press pen” to cover a protest at a Trump rally.
The journalist, Noah Gray, says he asked the Secret Service if there was any security issue involved in leaving the press area and entering the crowd, and Gray reports the answer was no. But Trump campaign staffers were not happy, including Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who appears in a video shot by Gray:
— Noah Gray CNN (@NoahGrayCNN) November 19, 2015
A Washington Post journalist who witnessed the encounter, Jenna Johnson, said reporters who tried to document the protest at the Trump event “got hassled”:
After CNN reporter Noah Gray left “the pen” to document a group of protesters who unveiled a sign reading “Migrant lives matter,” Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski turned to campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks and said: “Hey: Tell Noah, get back in the pen or he’s f—— blacklisted,” according to a recording of the incident.
As Gray went into the crowd to film reaction to the sign, which had already been taken down, Lewandowski confronted him directly: “Inside the pen, or I will pull your credentials. Media goes in the pen.” Lewandowski at first said the order was because of security, but then said: “I’m telling you. I’m telling you. Media stays in the pen.”