WSB Radio reporter Jaime Dupree reported that officials for Donald Trump's presidential campaign made reporters promise not to speak to any of the GOP candidate's supporters at a campaign event that once again was interrupted by protests and marked by the physical ejection of demonstrators. While Dupree explained that he has never experienced this type of restriction from a campaign, conservative radio host Sean Hannity laughed off the story as “highly entertaining.”
During an interview on the December 15 edition of the Sean Hannity Show, Dupree alleged that he and other news reporters were required to “pledge” that they would not speak to attendees at a December 14 rally event for the candidate after Trump supporters made death threats to Black Lives Matter protesters and one supporter yelled “Sieg heil” -- a Nazi salute. Radio host Sean Hannity shrugged off the reporter's comments, calling the story “hilarious.” Although the fact that the Trump campaign is cordoning off journalists from attendees has been reported, Dupree added that this restriction on speaking to supporters as a condition for leaving the penned off area is the first time he's experienced this type of “overly aggressive” tactic by a campaign.
JAIME DUPREE (REPORTER): Now one other quick story. Last night when we were at the Trump rally, we were in this media area, they roped us off, and we were not allowed to go out and interview Trump supporters during the event. But after it was over, the Trump people refused to let us out. It was forty-five minutes after the event had ended and we were still not being allowed to leave.
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Was that just the media people?
DUPREE: Yeah, the news reporters, unless we promised that we would not try to interview any Donald Trump supporters at the event. First time I've ever seen anything like that. It was very odd.
HANNITY: Actually I find that highly entertaining because, you know what, the media is not exactly held in high esteem anymore in this country, that's hilarious.
DUPREE: I know, but the thing is, literally I had to pledge that I was going to walk to the door because I wanted to go back to my hotel to write my stories.
DUPREE: When all I had to do was walk out that door and there were about three hundred Donald Trump supporters out there that I could have interviewed if I wanted to, but there's a real sort of behind-the-scenes battle going on between the Trump people who are being overly aggressive with shutting down the news media.
Trump received criticism in June for allegedly using paid actors “to cheer for him at his 2016 presidential-campaign announcement in New York City.” In November, Trump supporters beat up a black protester and yelled racial slurs at the protester in Birmingham, Alabama.