‘I Stand by My Reporting’: MSNBC’s Garrett Haake, Chuck Todd Push Back on Claim Tear Gas Wasn’t Used Against DC Protestors


Numerous news reporters who personally covered the DC protests on Monday night directly pushed back on the claim from an anonymous U.S. Park Police sources that tear gas was never deployed to sweep protestors out of Lafayette Park across from the White House.

The claim from an unnamed Park Police source was publicized in several tweets by a WTOP reporter, but was refuted by numerous live reports from the scene on Monday night. Fox News host Laura Ingraham also repeated the Park Police claim and called for Twitter to fact-check reports of tear gas by the press. She too was confronted by reporters who were on the ground at the protest and who disputed the Park Police statement.

At the beginning of his Monday edition of MTP Live, host Chuck Todd noted the Park Police denial, but then ran a supercut of the protest coverage from different news organizations, which showed canisters erupting with voluble plumes of gas in the middle of the protestors, sending them scurrying for cover as some covered their faces.

“So here’s what the world saw last night as it was capture live on local TV, national TV, and international news coverage,” Todd said.

Moments later, an Australian reporter clearly says: “We’re seeing tear gas being used,” along with images  of protestors fleeing by the camera. Then, the voice of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer could be heard narrating his network’s coverage, which reported tear gas was being used. Finally, MSNBC ran its own footage of the police assault on the protestors.

Todd then brought in the on-the-ground reporter from that footage, Garrett Haake, to address the discrepancy between the Park Police’s denial and the wealth of reporting contradicting it. Haake firmly stood by his reporting and his experience, stating that he has covered protests enough to know the difference between pepper spray and tear gas. He noted that he and his camera crew had to mask up in response to the gas clouds

Chuck, you’ve played the tape. I stand by my reporting,” Haake said, moments after Todd played a clip of his team’s on-the-ground reporting from Monday. “I’ve been in situations where I’ve been hit by smoke before and where I’ve been hit by pepper spray before. I think I know the difference. On the edge of 17th and Connecticut Avenue on the edge of this park, I, other journalists, several protestors, had to put on gas masks and wash our eyes out afterwards and all felt something significantly different. I don’t know to tell you about the Park Police statement. I stand by what I reported last night and by what that video shows.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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