Things got heated in the White House briefing room between Fox News Radio correspondent Jon Decker and Gateway Pundit’s Lucian Wintrich.
The decision to grant the website Gateway Pundit White House press credentials seemingly rubbed Mr. Decker and his peers the wrong way on Friday. Reporters on hand witnessed allegations of bigotry, an assault claim, and professional insults before heading home for the weekend.
“Fox News Radio John Decker just loudly told everyone in briefing room that Gateway Pundit is here ‘They hate blacks, Jews, Hispanics.’ Wild,” tweeted BuzzFeed White House correspondent Adrian Carrasquillo.
Mr. Carrasquillo’s claim was echoed by Mr. Wintrich, who in a string of tweets said, “Jon Decker asulted [sic] me at today’s briefing. @FoxNews — is this behavior something you tolerate over there? He’s sick . … John Decker also asulted [sic] me, pushing me in the break room & then grabbing my arm in the briefing room while shouting that I’m a Nazi. … After this briefing, I am going to be filing assult [sic] and harassment charges against Jon Decker.”
The tweets included images that showed Mr. Decker glaring in the Gateway Pundit’s direction.
“Props to Jon Decker for speaking up in the press room,” another reporter said after the incident, Politico reported. “It would be much harder for a minority reporter to speak up like he did. As a member of the WHCA board and as a white man him standing up and saying that meant a lot to reporters in the room.”
Mr. Wintrich told Mediaite that the Fox employee “aggressively grabbed” him, but without enough force to cause bruising.
Mr. Decker denied any behavior that would warrant legal action in a statement released Friday.
“Earlier today I had a conversation with a representative from the online publication Gateway Pundit,” the reporter said. “The conversation was straightforward and direct. I also informed the full White House pool that this representative was present in the Briefing Room. At no time did I accost or assault this individual. More than a dozen witnesses will attest to this fact.”