- The Washington Times - Monday, August 6, 2018

A C-SPAN caller threatened to shoot CNN’s Brian Stelter and Don Lemon over the weekend after a tense week for relations between President Trump and the media.

Mr. Stelter aired the clip Sunday while addressing threats made toward journalists.

“Let me just preface this by saying, I’m not looking for sympathy,” he said before playing the video. “I know I’m not in immediate danger. I know some of my colleagues get much worse threats than I do. People at Fox News and other outlets have to deal with this garbage, too.”

The caller, identified as “Don,” accused the CNN reporters of labeling all Trump supporters racists.

“Brian Stelter and Don Lemon from CNN called Trump supporters all racists. They don’t even know us,” he said, “Give me a break. They started the war. If I see them, I’m gonna shoot them. Bye.”

Mr. Stelter denied the accusation, and said the man’s threat was “predicated on a lie.”

He said he wasn’t sure where “Don” got that idea, but pointed to a recent segment on Sean Hannity’s show aired the night before the threat. Mr. Stelter explained that Mr. Hannity played a clip of him talking about how racial anxiety was tied to the president’s rise.

“I don’t know if the C-SPAN caller watched Hannity. I’m not blaming Hannity. I just thought the timing was odd,” Mr. Stelter said.

The CNN reporter warned that this kind of threat is happening more often during the Trump presidency.

“Friday’s threatening phone call on C-SPAN is just a tiny illustration of what is out there,” he said.

Mr. Stelter’s segment came as a continuation of CNN’s pushback against Mr. Trump’s rhetoric toward mainstream media outlets.

CNN reporter Jim Acosta warned that whipped up hostility would get someone hurt. His comments came after he was heckled at Mr. Trump’s Tampa rally on Aug. 1.

Two days later, Mr. Acosta pressed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to explicitly say that the press was not “an enemy of the people.” Mrs. Sanders responded that the president made his opinion clear on the subject before.

Ivanka Trump, Mr. Trump’s eldest daughter and a senior adviser, disagreed with the phrase earlier that day and said the media was not the enemy of the people.

Despite the criticism, Mr. Trump continued to criticize the media over the weekend.


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