Trump Tweets Video of Reporter at Anti-Lockdown Protest: ‘Fake News Is Not Essential’

US President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he departs the White House in Washington, DC, on August 21, 2019. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump shared a tweet of a local television reporter being confronted by anti-shutdown protesters in Long Island, New York, who called him “fake news.”

“Fake news is not essential,” the president wrote, retweeting the videos from News 12 Long Island reporter Kevin Vesey.

Vesey recorded the viral videos, which have been viewed more than 11.9 million times, while he was on assignment covering a rally on Thursday protesting the stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

The News 12 Long Island reporter said the demonstrators in the town of Commack were confronting him over his profession and “repeatedly invading” his “personal space.”

According to the video taken at the event, several protesters called Vesey “fake news, with one protester shouting, “You are the enemy of the people!”

Most people were not wearing masks or were properly practicing social distancing at the event.

When Vesey found out the president retweeted him, he simply said, “And just like that, I’ve been tweeted by the president.”

Several mainstream media reporters defended Vesey after Trump’s retweet, and accused Trump of “bullying a civilian.”

“It’s discouraging enough to watch the tape of these knuckledraggers harassing a reporter who’s just doing his job by covering their protest (and who produced an even-handed segment for his local newscast). But to see the President pile on, bullying a civilian… it’s nauseating,” tweeted Politico reporter Tim Alberta.

“87,000 Americans dead, 1.3 million infected, and the president is attacking a local TV news reporter who was trying to do his job and cover a protest. Indecent, vile,” CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted.

“Good thing the president is trying to calm down the misplaced ang-,” tweeted Maggie Haberman of the New York Times.

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