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Fox News editor: We should stop having reporters at Trump rallies

The Hill logo The Hill 8/3/2018 Justin Wise
a group of people watching a band on stage in front of a crowd © Provided by The Hill

Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt suggested on Friday that news outlets cease sending reporters to President Trump's rallies, saying that their presence allows Trump to use them as a "prop."

"We should stop having reporters at those Trump rallies," Stirewalt said on Fox News's "Outnumbered." "Everybody should stop having reporters penned up like veal in the back of those things for the president to use as a prop, and then some of the reporters exploit that for their own personal benefit."

Stirewalt added that "this is not helping anybody. Get out of the hall. Leave the cameras, get the reporters out of the hall. Quit letting him use you as a foil."

Stirewalt also suggested an end to televised White House press briefings, calling them "counterproductive" and "showboat theater."

"It has become a forum of personal achievement and political utility for the administration," he said.

Stirewalt's comments came in response to a week of heightened hostility faced by the press from Trump and his supporters.

The attacks ramped up this week, with dozens of Trump supporters in Tampa, Fla., and Wilkes-Barre, Pa., shouting "CNN sucks" at two separate rallies, as the president railed against "fake news."

Supporters in Tampa dug in further with their attacks on the media, targeting CNN's Jim Acosta at the rally with chants of "you're a liar."

After the event, Acosta tweeted that he was "very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt."

Days after the rally, Acosta got into a heated exchange with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders when she refused to say the media is not the enemy of the people.

Speaking on CNN after the tousle, an emotional Acosta said it was "un-American" to call the press the "enemy of the people."

"Fellow Americans are not the enemy of fellow Americans," he added after speaking on CNN for several minutes. "Forgive me for going on a rant, but I think that they've lost sight of that here at this White House."

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