The rhetoric onstage has become increasingly ugly as Donald Trump and Marco Rubio fight it out for their share of tomorrow night’s delegates. But things became really ugly and literally violent today in the crowd at a Trump rally in Radford, Va., and the clash wasn’t between Trump fans and protesters, but between a TIME photographer and Trump’s Secret Service detail.
News reports covered the incident, but a Vine video managed to show just how violent the agent’s response was. Ignore the line of people headed out; keep your eyes toward the bottom-center of the video.
For posterity: Deleted Instagram video shows Secret Service agent choke slamming photographer at Trump's rally https://t.co/MxBAWyugfC
— Brian Ries (@moneyries) February 29, 2016
— Mashable (@mashable) February 29, 2016
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 29, 2016
— GayPatriot™ (@GayPatriot) February 29, 2016
@mashable He's trained to end the threat. Seems like he did a great job with an asshole reporter.
— World Wild West (@CarsonCityKid) February 29, 2016
— Jake Hobbs (@WilliamJake) February 29, 2016
Here’s a shot of the photographer being led out by police.
— Yahoo Politics (@YahooPolitics) February 29, 2016
But wait, there’s more! Another unconfirmed photo is going around that seems to show the photographer grabbing the Secret Service Agent by the throat — not recommended.
Probably not good for reporters to grab the throat of Secret Service agents. pic.twitter.com/QTo42kxjXK
— Brandon Darby (@brandondarby) February 29, 2016
And here’s one more bit of context captured on video that helps explain the over-the-top response. (Language warning)
Here's moments prior. The reporter says "f*ck you" — that's when it got physical pic.twitter.com/h9K2wIbEWQ
— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) February 29, 2016
— Marcus Porcius (@Marcus_Porcius) February 29, 2016
— charles zabielski (@CZabielski) February 29, 2016
For what it’s worth, both the Secret Service and TIME are being very measured in their initial responses.
Secret Service issues statement on incident with photographer at Trump rally earlier today: pic.twitter.com/yiZQc3WULW
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) February 29, 2016
TIME expressed concerns to Secret Service about level & nature of agent’s response to confrontation with photog https://t.co/F05IedDfkv
— Andrew Katz (@katz) February 29, 2016
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) February 29, 2016
ABC’s Jonathan Karl says that the shot of the photographer grabbing the Secret Service agent by the throat came after the choke-slam, and the photographer was demonstrating what happened to him. If so, the obscenity might have set off the agent. So, who’s to blame?
@jonkarl It's obvious. Trump gave the agent a secret sign saying, "Deck that jerk!" No way the photographer could have been @ fault, right?
— Farrel Vincent (@BigVTN) February 29, 2016
Some really are blaming Trump, if for nothing else than for creating the “climate” in which such incivility is encouraged.
— joan_mediator (@joan_mediator) February 29, 2016
— David Beckett (@DavidABeckett9) February 29, 2016
— Capt. Thomsen (@nasko18) February 29, 2016
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— Annie Andersen (@Annie_Andersen) February 29, 2016