CNN's Brian Stelter attended a Trump rally hours after a fervent fan of the president was charged with sending pipe bombs to the network and several prominent Democrats -- and he was disturbed by what he heard.
Stelter, the network's senior media correspondent, wrote about his experience Friday in the press pen in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he spoke with a number of Trump supporters.
"Some folks were rude, calling me names, heckling me during live shots. They didn't have much interest in a conversation," Stelter said. "But others were friendly. A dozen people wanted to take selfies. We talked about the news and the weather. This is something [Jim] Acosta has pointed out in the past: Folks at rallies will chant 'fake news,' but then they'll ask for a photo."
Stelter said CNN and other networks sometimes employ security guards for their reporters at Trump rallies, and he said President Donald Trump's rhetoric might make those measures necessary.
"I left the rally even more sure that Trump is leading a hate movement against the media," Stelter said. "No, not everybody at his rallies buy into it, but some do. And that's a serious problem."
"Is Trump able or willing to control the forces that he has unleashed?" he added. "Is he able or willing to tamp down the fire that he has fueled? His actions on Friday strongly suggested that he's not."