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LONG ISLAND, NY — President Donald Trump addressed the recent rally in Commack that resulted in a confrontation between protesters and a News 12 Long Island reporter. The "Re-Open NY Rally" took place on Thursday at the Macy's parking lot at Veterans Memorial Highway. During the event, protesters called for New York reopen its economy as the state enters the second month of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's PAUSE initiative. Reporter Kevin Vesey shared a video on social media which showed the moment he was confronted at the rally.
"The level of anger directed at the media from these protestors was alarming," Vesey said.
President Trump retweeted the video, which has been viewed more than 2 million times, posted to Vesey's Twitter account to his own personal account twice. Vesey posted the video from the rally along with the caption: "The level of anger directed at the media from these protesters was alarming. As always, I will tell a fair and unbiased story today." The president then retweeted the post, adding his thoughts on the situation: "FAKE NEWS IS NOT ESSENTIAL!"
Then Saturday morning Trump retweeted the video a again, this time adding the caption "People can’t get enough of this. Great people!"
On Thursday the group who planned the protest, the Setauket Patriots, issued an apology to Vesey on Facebook. Read the full apology below:
Kevin, The Setauket Patriots group, would like to apologize on how you were treated, as you know when our group fist arrived by caravan, you had interviewed Us along with the 4th pct police inspector going over all the resources the police dept made available to us including extra masks for those who needed one for the Event. This wasn't a Trump event but an Open up NY Rally and we invited all Long Islanders to attend. We can tell you that the few who decided to Harass you and try to prevent you from doing your job are not members or affialiated with the Setauket patriots group in any way, shape or form. We were looking foward to you giving us fair coverage with what you documented when we first arrived. But as with all mass rally events you will always get a few idiots to disrupt an otherwise peaceful, pleasent demonstration and they should have been removed by Police.
The state economy has been paused since mid-March after Cuomo signed an executive order as a means to prevent the new coronavirus from continuing to spread. Restaurants, bars, casinos, gyms and racetracks all closed to in-store service per the order, and state schools also closed for the remainder of the academic year.
RECAP: Our @KevinVesey relives the moments several protesters angrily confronted him while he broadcasted on Facebook Live.Learn more about his story and the moments that have since captured the media world: https://t.co/kTkfvhZqKz pic.twitter.com/sMcHwCUiIq
— News12 (@News12) May 15, 2020
I am not going to retweet the president’s tweet. What I am going to say is @KevinVesey did an amazing job as a local reporter covering a local event in the face of tremendous ugly here on LI. And no, he is not, and we are not, fake news. And yes, he is and we are essential.
— Randi Marshall (@randimarshall) May 16, 2020