A pair of progressive journalists alleged that they were repeatedly harassed by staffers for the Buttigieg campaign at an event in New Hampshire, including an attempt to physically take away their preapproved press credentials.
Status Coup co-founder/reporter Jordan Chariton and video journalist Jamal Jones attended the campaign event on Sunday in Nashua, New Hampshire, where former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg was set to appear. Ahead of the event, Chariton and Jones were interviewing attendees in line outside, but Chariton said he noticed they were being followed by Buttigieg field staffer Julia Fiedler, who went on to “eavesdrop” on interviews, which went on for roughly a half an hour.
Chariton told Fiedler, “You know, you’re not being subtle,” to which she responded, “I know.”
Live-tweeting the alleged harassment as it was happening, Chariton shared a clip showing Fiedler walking alongside the journalist while he was interviewing an attendee.
Fiedler did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Chariton, a supporter for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said he and Jones entered Elm Street Middle School, the venue for the rally, and picked up their press credentials at check-in and waited with other members of the media until the campaign allowed them to enter the gymnasium. Moments later, after interviewing more attendees, they were approached by another Buttigieg staffer and were asked if they had press credentials or if they “snuck in.”
“So clearly, they’re monitoring us here. It’s crazy, absolutely crazy,” Chariton said to the camera.
Things escalated when Jones went to go grab his camera gear and was approached by a different campaign staffer who snatched his press credentials that was clipped to his jacket and told him, “I’m sorry, I don’t think you’re supposed to have press credentials.” He later expressed he felt like he was being “attacked.”
“I felt I was singled out,” Jones told Fox News. “I’m not sure whether it was because of the company I work for or the color of my skin, but I was definitely singled out because they didn’t do that to anyone else there that I saw.”
Both the Buttigieg staffer and Jones approached Chariton, where an intense exchange ensued.
“[A staffer] was following me outside, I have credentials, I can show it to you, and now you’ve had two people come up to me, harassing me here,” Chariton told the unidentified Buttigieg aide. “Is this what you do to the press?”
“No,” she responded, who quickly attempted to block the camera lens with her hand and later told Chariton that she had heard that they were “disrupting people in line.”
“Disrupting what?” Chariton said.
“I’m under the impression that you were disrupting people in line,” the staffer reiterated.
“Disrupting by interview them? That’s disruption?” the progressive journalist shot back.
“No,” she said. “We were told by people that they were disrupted by you.”
She then walked away with Jones’ press credentials without attempting to grab Chariton’s. Moments later, a staffer, who Chariton described had a more senior status on the campaign, approached them to calm the situation.
“I’m not trying to kick you out,” Cambria Hayashino, the “Iowa Advance Lead” of the Buttigieg campaign according to her LinkedIn page, told Chariton.
“Did you know that one of your people came up to my cameraman without saying a word and ripped his credential right off him?” Chariton asked.
“I did not know that,” Hayashino responded. “I apologize for that.”
She repeatedly apologized to Jones as Chariton explained what had happened to them.
“I’ve gone to Trump events and never had to deal with this,” Chariton said.
“I understand and that should not have happened and I understand that it’s really frustrating,” Hayashino said. “I apologize on behalf of our team. … I wanted to come here and tell you that you are allowed to stay here, we just ask you to follow the rules that everyone else follows — not that I’ve seen you breaking them.”
“Listen, for a campaign that has whatever issues with black people, to come up to my black cameraman and rip his thing off,” Chariton told her.
Hayashino did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Chariton told Fox News he managed to get press credentials by using another journalist’s invitation. He claimed Status Coup was removed from the campaign’s email list back in December after it reported on an alleged cover-up involving cops at the South Bend Police Department that were caught live-streaming an arrest of a black man while imitating Klansmen from the 2012 film “Django Unchained.”
The Status Coup reporter expressed he believed there is a “pattern of paranoia” from the Buttigieg campaign, pointing to a debate watch party he attended in South Bend in December, where he said taking photos and videos and conducting interviews were strictly prohibited as it was a “safe space” for attendees.
He had not heard from the campaign since the altercation took place, even after reaching out to Buttigieg Press Secretary Chris Meagher.
“Multiple lines were crossed and 24 hours later, the mayor nor his press secretary has apologized. Whether the mayor’s campaign likes my outlet or not — political operatives have no right to place their hands on journalists trying to do their jobs,” Chariton told Fox News.
The Buttigieg campaign did not immediately respond to numerous requests by Fox News for comment.