Trump’s EPA chief just ordered his goons to manhandle a reporter for asking the wrong question

The Trump administration’s war against the press took a disturbing turn on Tuesday morning when a journalist from the Associated Press was forcibly seized by security guards and thrown out of the Environmental Protection Agency building, where chief administrator Scott Pruitt was holding the National Leadership Summit on Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances.

Right off the bat, it was clear something was off. Several major media outlets were barred from entering the conference hall at all, while others deemed friendly to the administration – like the Wall Street Journal – were welcomed in.

When a yet unnamed AP reporter refused to be denied access and demanded to speak to a public affairs person, security guards seized her and physically threw her out of the building in a minor assault on her person.

When asked for comment, the agency inevitably deflected.

This is the latest sign that the president and his cronies’ war on our free press and the media is kicking into overdrive.

It goes without saying for a reporter to be manhandled by federal security agents at the order of the EPA chief at a conference about chemical contamination in water supplies is entirely without precedent, and is the kind of boorish and repressive behavior one would expect from, say, Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan and not from the government of the United States.

Coming just months after a Republican candidate body-slammed a Guardian reporter and days after the Trump administration and the American media at large turned a blind eye to Israeli Defense Force soldiers targeting and killing journalists covering the massacre along the apartheid fence in the Gaza strip, these kinds of acts of aggression against the media are opening the door for a much harsher crackdown – and we must not allow them to be normalized or tolerated.

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Colin Taylor

Managing Editor

Colin Taylor is the managing editor of the Washington Press. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice, equality, and universal health care in America.