A brawl broke out in the Rose Garden Thursday after President Trump’s former deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka and other conservative media personalities got into a heated argument with Playboy reporter Brian Karem following the president’s press conference on the controversial census citizenship question.
Notable conservative media personalities who attended the White House Social Media Summit Thursday – including James O’Keefe, Mark Dice, and Joy Villa – were invited to the Rose Garden for the announcement. Karem, seemingly incensed by their presence, sparked a fight with Gorka after openly remarking that the group of conservatives were “eager for demonic possession,” triggering laughs from nearby counterparts.
“And you’re a journalist, right,” Gorka shouted from afar.
“Hey– come on over here and talk to me brother. We can go outside and have a long conversation,” Karem said.
“You’re threatening me now in the White House – in the Rose Garden, threatening me in the Rose Garden,” Gorka said as he approached Karem.
“You’re a punk. You’re not a journalist. You’re a punk!” Gorka said to Karem’s face.
“Go home. Go home. Hey Gorka– get a job!” Karem snapped.
“Hey– just for the record, he’d kick your punk ass,” Jim Hanson, who captured the heated moment, added.
My $$$ was on Seb as I note pic.twitter.com/yXfJfOKaZT
— Jim Hanson (@Uncle_Jimbo) July 11, 2019
It did not end there, with O’Keefe attempting to diffuse the situation.
“I’m on the same team as you. We’re both journalists. We’re both investigative reporters. All I ask is, do your job,” he said, urging Karem to refrain from attacking the character of others trying to do their jobs as well.
Villa stepped in afterward, telling the establishment media that she and others are citizen journalists who need them to stop reporting “fake news.”
Karem put up a fight with Villa, attempting to puff his chest on his status as a “legitimate” journalist while belittling Villa’s “citizen journalist” view.
“When you have a staff of people that verify your facts, then you can call yourself a reporter,” he said. “You have an opinion. Label yourself as an opinion.”
“You should label yourself as an opinion,” Villa shot back.
“I do. And when I write a feature it’s labeled ‘news,'” Karem claimed.
Gorka posted an update on Twitter following the dust-up.
“Nothing like getting a member of the FAKENEWS challenge you to a fight when you’re both standing in the Rose Garden of the @WhiteHouse.These people are not journalists,” he tweeted. “They’re punks and political saboteurs.”
Nothing like getting a member of the FAKENEWS challenge you to a fight when you’re both standing in the Rose Garden of the @WhiteHouse.
These people are not journalists.
They’re punks and political saboteurs.
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) July 11, 2019
CNN’s Jim Acosta essentially confirmed the root cause of the argument.
The scene in the WH Rose Garden. All WH press in the back. Trump’s social media allies in the front rows. pic.twitter.com/wi8m4yW53N
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) July 11, 2019
“WH officials invited Trump’s social media allies to sit in the Rose Garden. But after the event was over, West Wing aides did nothing when those social media figures began to verbally abuse reporters who were trying to do their jobs,” Acosta claimed.
However, the video suggests that the establishment media’s irritation at the seat selection and Karem’s “demonic possession” remark sparked the entire brawl.
Yikes. @Acosta tweeted out a video implying that @SebGorka verbally attacked a journalist, but left out the part showing the journalist threatening to physically attack Gorka first. pic.twitter.com/wBYnUthzfF
— Brandon Darby (@brandondarby) July 12, 2019
Abilio “Jim” @Acosta is FAKENEWS.
From his brown shoes to his gelled hairdo. https://t.co/CyJSvGtpm0
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) July 12, 2019