CNN correspondent says he was pushed by senator’s aide

CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju was pushed aside in the Senate chamber by a senator’s aide while covering the insurrection in and around the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

President Donald Trump spoke at a noon rally that day in front of the White House, promoting false claims of election fraud and calling for his supporters to march to the Capitol where lawmakers were certifying the victory of President-elect Joe Biden, reported the New York Times. Following the rally, pro-Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol, disrupting congressional action and occupying several areas within the building.

Raju, who had been tweeting about Georgia’s Senate runoffs the day prior, was covering events in the Senate chamber when Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler entered the room. According to Raju’s tweet at 1:03 p.m., “[Loeffler] wouldn’t answer my question about whether she thought it was a free and fair election last night.” He wrote her aide then elbowed and pushed him out of the way.

Loeffler lost her reelection to Rev. Raphael Warnock earlier that day.

When Raju confronted the aide, he said he did not push Raju, but a Capitol police officer said, “Yes you did. I saw you. You can’t just push someone out of the way,” according to Raju’s second tweet about the incident. The aide then apologized.

CNN video producer DJ Judd confirmed Raju’s account in a tweet at 1:05 p.m., “When reprimanded by Capitol Police, the aide lied, said he didn’t push Manu.”

Raju and Sen. Loeffler’s office did not respond to emailed requests for comment.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting assaults, arrests and other incidents involving journalists covering protests across the country. Find election-related coverage here.