NEW YORK—In response to reports that a BBC cameraman was “violently pushed and shoved” at a Trump rally yesterday, PEN America issued the following statement:

“Yet again we see evidence that President Trump’s steady campaign of character assassination being waged against the news media is not just irresponsible but manifestly dangerous.  Those present at last night’s rally say it was the President’s riling up of the crowd that contributed to a violent attack by one of his supporters on BBC cameraman Ron Skeans,” said Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer of PEN America. “President Trump needs to make an unequivocal statement that journalists must be allowed to do their jobs without threat or interference, and then live by those words.  Short of that he will continue to bear the blame for imperiling journalists doing the job of holding government accountable and keeping the public informed.  We are pleased to hear that Skeans suffered no lasting injury and wish him well.”


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT: Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager: [email protected]