President Donald Trump’s attack on the news media at his rally in Phoenix Tuesday night has many journalists fearing for their safety and claiming that the president is inciting violence against reporters.
“The media can attack me. But where I draw the line is when they attack you, which is what they do,” Trump told his supporters. He accused the media of “fomenting division” and claimed that most reporters “don’t like our country.” Journalists were clearly still shaken on Wednesday morning by Trump’s rhetoric.
On “Good Morning America,” ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega claimed that Trump’s attack on the media “was incitement, plain and simple,” adding that “it really feels like a matter of time before someone gets hurt.”
Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei wrote an open letter on Twitter to “family/friends who support Trump” about the president’s attacks on journalists, saying: “what he said last night about reporters was despicable, extremely deceptive, [and] dangerous.”
“There are great Americans deeply concerned about a changing nation,” VandeHei wrote. “God forbid one buys Trump’s mad rant and takes action…”
Reporters on Twitter circulated VandeHei’s concerns about violence in the media, with many expressing similar worries.
NBC News’ Chuck Todd expressed concern that an inspired Trump supporter could commit violence against the media.
“Whether POTUS means it or not, I don’t know, but this could motivate a crazy,” Todd wrote of Trump’s attacks on the media, which he called “dangerous rhetoric.”
Trump, for his part, seemed pleased with how the rally went.
“Last night in Phoenix I read the things from my statements on Charlottesville that the Fake News Media didn’t cover fairly,” Trump wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning. “People got it!”