Footage taken on Wednesday evening showed pro-Trump rioters destroying journalism equipment as they were pushed away from the Capitol by police.
Pro-Trump rioters who breached the Capitol on Wednesday began harassing reporters who were on the scene covering the unprecedented incident. Trump has long referred to media as “enemy of the people,” with his supporters frequently echoing this characterization.
D.C.-based WRC-TV reporter Shomari Stone tweeted a video of the attack, writing, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my 20 year career.”
BREAKING. Mob of Trump supporters swarm the media near the US Capitol. They yell what Trump frequently says, “the media is the enemy of the people.” They destroy equipment and chased out reporters. I’ve never seen anything like this in my 20 year career: @nbcwashington @MSNBC pic.twitter.com/3VLC07JQR2
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) January 6, 2021
USA Today Congressional reporter Christal Hayes shared a video of rioters destroying more equipment, noting that it belonged to The Associated Press, not CNN as the rioters seemed to believe.
Outside the Capitol, pro-Trump protesters are smashing cameras and other media equipment yelling “CNN sucks!”
One man took a wooden stick and bashed the pile of destroyed equipment.
This stuff isn’t owned by CNN. They are destroying AP equipment. pic.twitter.com/NeIUUSuYaC
— Christal Hayes (@Journo_Christal) January 6, 2021
Trump released a video statement on Wednesday calling for the rioters to stop, as well as repeating disputed claims that the election had been “stolen.” Multiple social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube took down this video out of concern that it could incite further violence.
“We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence,” said Facebook’s vice president of integrity Guy Rosen.