At a rally in Phoenix on Saturday a large man stood with his back to Trump and stared at the media. Some of the assembled media took the stare as an attempt to menace them and reported the man’s behavior to security. That led to his removal and also to an article in Politico about the incident. The original Politico article has been rewritten (you’ll see why in a moment) but the original draft was preserved at Democratic Underground:
PHOENIX, ARIZ. — Security guards removed a man staring menacingly at the press from a Donald Trump campaign rally on Saturday.
A television reporter notified a security guard that the rally attendee was holding an object in his hand and described him as a “very dangerous man” after noticing the man facing away from Trump and staring at length directly at members of the press. Minutes later, security guards removed the man from the Phoenix Convention Center.
The incident comes as Trump’s attacks on the press have grown more extreme in recent weeks, with the Republican nominee accusing journalists and bankers of colluding with Hillary Clinton’s campaign to destroy him as part of a vast globalist conspiracy.
So the story Saturday was that some guy seemed to be menacing the press in accord with Trump’s statements about the media. On Sunday, the man came forward and gave an interview to local news channel KTVK in which he said it was all a misunderstanding:
The political journalism organization Politico described Anton Weber as “very dangerous.”
But Weber said on Sunday that what happened on Saturday was quite the opposite of what he was intending to do, which was to make a peaceful statement.
“I decided to turn around and take my attention away from the candidate because I gave him 20 minutes of time to speak to say something reasonable and rational and he didn’t,” Weber said…
“I’m a big guy and I apologize for any press members I made feel uncomfortable it was not my intent.”
Weber also contacted Politico and they rewrote their story, keeping the initial paragraphs and adding new material starting with paragraph three:
But following the publication of this article, the man, Anton Weber, reached out to POLITICO to report that in fact he had turned his back on Trump in protest of the businessman’s claims that the election is “rigged” against him.
“I am 6-foot-4 and did not want to stare at the floor any longer so I was staring at the floor of the press platform,” Weber explained. “I fully support the press.”
So the guy who was initially made the face of Trump’s displeasure with the media was actually, it seems, a Trump protester who supports the media. Granted, he is big and does look sort of menacing in the original video clip. But he seems sincere in his on camera interview. Would a die hard media-hater recant like this or take the opportunity to double down? Maybe the lesson here is don’t assume the worst of anyone in this crazy election cycle.