The White House correspondent for a far-right blog accused a Fox News Radio reporter of assaulting him before Friday’s press briefing, a charge both a Fox News spokesperson and the reporter flatly denied.
Lucian B. Wintrich, a writer for the the blog Gateway Pundit, wrote on Twitter that John Decker, a White House correspondent for Fox News Radio, grabbed his arm “while shouting” he’s “a Nazi.”
“He came out of nowhere and cornered me in the back room, not letting me pass,” Wintrich said, adding, “He’s a truly sick guy, Fox needs to address behaviour like this in their staff.”
Wintrich tweeted several photos, one of which appeared to show Decker in close proximity to him:
Decker acknowledged in a statement provided to Business Insider that he did have a “conversation with a representative from the online publication Gateway Pundit,” but said at no time did he get physical with him.
“The conversation was straightforward and direct,” he said. “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.”
A Fox News spokesperson also denied the assault allegations to Business Insider, saying that Decker, a lawyer, was upset with some of Wintrich’s previous tweets and only sought to notify other members of the press corps that the Gateway Pundit writer was attending the daily briefing.
Adrian Carrasquillo, a White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News, wrote on Twitter that Decker “loudly told everyone in [the] briefing room” that the Gateway Pundit is a blog that hates “blacks, Jews, Hispanics.”
“Wild,” Carrasquillo said about the incident.
Wintrich later said he was going to file “assault and harassment charges” against Decker after the meeting.
The far-right writer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Jim Hoft, the editor and publisher of Gateway Pundit, stood by his employee.
“I think we are going to try to press charges or at least report the incident,” Hoft said in a short phone call. “What he did was totally uncalled for.”
Hoft said in a follow-up email that he had contacted the What House about the incident. A spokesperson for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Gateway Pundit is a far-right blog notorious for peddling misinformation under the banner of inflammatory headlines and was only recently granted White House press credentials. On Thursday night, for instance, the website drew scorn for suggesting former President Barack Obama was not born in the US, but Kenya, a debunked conspiracy theory to which even President Donald Trump says he no longer subscribes.
Jon Decker asulted me at today’s briefing. @FoxNews – is this behaviour something you tolerate over there? He’s sick .https://t.co/gzZhhIzOMD pic.twitter.com/ThppoHpRQw
— Lucian B. Wintrich (@lucianwintrich) March 10, 2017
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