Although President Donald Trump frequently decries CNN as a “fake news” channel, his re-election campaign came to its defense after three members of a news crew were arrested while covering protests in Minnesota.
According to the Washington Examiner, Team Trump tweeted that Gov. Tim Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, both Democrats, “have completely lost control” of the city.
Accusing the leaders of “a catastrophic display of failed leadership,” Trump’s campaign addressed the arrest of CNN anchor Omar Jimenez and his crew.
“Clear-eyed justice must be served!”
“The city is on fire & they outrageously arrested a CNN crew,” the tweet continued. “[Trump] called in DOJ to investigate George Floyd’s death. Clear-eyed justice must be served!”
At the time of his arrest, Jimenez was covering protests that erupted following the death of George Floyd, who was seen on video pleading for oxygen as ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on the suspect’s neck for more than eight minutes. Chauvin now faces charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Walz issued a statement denouncing what he described as an inexcusable arrest of reporters doing their job.
“We have got to ensure that there is a safe spot for journalism to tell this story,” Walz said in response to the arrest of the news team.
The governor issued “a very public apology to that team,” saying that he took “full responsibility” and asserting that there is “absolutely no reason something like that should happen.”
“You saw it for your own eyes”
Jimenez later recounted the experience, adding that he felt “a little bit of comfort” in knowing that the ordeal played out on camera.
“You don’t have to doubt my story,” he added. “It’s not filtered in any way. You saw it for your own eyes.”
Nevertheless, he said the experience was “definitely nerve-wracking,” describing the process of attempting to convince officers that he was, in fact, a journalist working for CNN.
“For us, it was literally a situation of ‘tell me who you are’ as far as identification purposes, then they left,” he said. “They came back and said you’re with CNN, correct? Yes. And then, we explained the two other team members that were with me. Three, including the security that we had hired for this. And then, they left. Came back.”
While it is clear that Trump is no fan of CNN, it is reassuring to know that his campaign can put those feelings aside to stand up for members of a news team arrested while trying to do their job.