Reporter Put in a Chokehold By Security at Trump Rally After What He Said to Guard

trump rally

A photographer for Time magazine was reportedly choked and pushed to the ground in a tussle with U.S. Secret Service agents at a rally for Donald Trump.

Video posted on social media shows photographer Chris Morris kicking at the agent from a defensive position on the ground at the event at Radford University in Virginia, on Monday, then getting up and grabbing the agent by the throat.

But Morris says he was assaulted first, never hit the agent, and will not press charges, CNN reported.

‘I stepped 18 inches out of the [press] pen and then he grabbed me by the neck and started choking me and then he slammed me to the ground,’ Morris told reporters at the scene.

The Trump campaign said there was an incident involving a photographer and a Secret Service agent at the rally at Radford University in western Virginia.

‘We are not aware of all details surrounding the incident and all future inquiries should be directed to local law enforcement,’ it said in a statement.

The Secret Service in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

However, the agency says it needs to interview the agent in question, according to The Daily Beast’s Asawin Suebsaerng.

Witnesses claim that Morris was ‘choke-slammed’ to the ground, although the video only shows the aftermath of the alleged attack. However, after getting up, Morris is seen grabbing the agent by the throat.

Morris that he was assaulted first, but added that he won’t be pressing charges.

Gabby Morrongiello, a reporter for the Washington Examiner, posted a brief clip of the incident on Twitter, captioned: ‘This is how reporters are treated at Trump rallies.’

Morrongiello added that Morris ‘was a credentialed member of the media, thrown to the ground while trying to exit the press pen.’

Morris had been trying to get pictures of a group protesting Trump at the rally, she told Buzzfeed. The rally had been repeatedly disrupted by hecklers, including some from the Black Lives Matter movement.

‘I believe he was trying to exit the press pen to get a closer shot of a group of students who were protesting Trump,’ she said.

‘Yes, he was choke slammed and that’s what landed him on the ground.’

She added: ‘He was a credentialed member of the media, although Trump’s staff is adamant about keeping reporters in the press pen until after the rally has concluded.

‘I believe that is why he was handled like that.’

An extended clip of the incident, posted by Independent Journal reporter Joe Perticono shows Morris get up after the incident, gesture to his own neck before grabbing the agent by the throat.

Morris had been ‘choke-slammed’ by the agent, according to Perticono.

Perticono also posted another video showing the moments before the attack, in which Morris can be heard saying ‘f*** you’ to the agent.

Perticone wrote alongside the clip: ‘The reporter says ‘f*ck you’ — that’s when it got physical.’

However, he added that the first instance of violence came from the agent.

The incident came after the protesters – including some from the Black Lives Matter movement – disrupted the rally, which was held as the Republican front-runner came under fire for not clearly condemning white supremacist support during an interview on CNN on Sunday.

A group of protesters from Black Lives Matter was escorted away from the raucous rally by security guards as the crowd around them began to chant: ‘All lives matter.’

The billionaire real estate mogul had waited for the various protesters to be removed from the hall, saying: ‘Folks, you’re going to hear it once: All lives matter.’

Trump paused in his remarks, ordering the security guards, ‘Get them out please, get them out.’

At another point when a demonstrator was being ejected from the rally, Trump said: ‘Oh folks, isn’t it sad? We’ve gotta unify our country, we’ve gotta unify our country,’ he said. ‘But it is fun, and exciting.’

This article originally appeared on Daily Mail.