New White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was bruised Sunday in a scuffle between North Korean security and members of the U.S. press pool covering President Donald Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the Associated Press reported.
The incident, which was partially caught on video, occurred after Trump became the first sitting U.S. present to visit North Korea and days after Grisham took on the job.
The Secret Service intervened as North Korean guards pushed and shoved American reporters to block them from entering the Inter-Korean House of Freedom south of the border, where Trump and Kim were meeting, according to the AP.
Grisham stepped into the chaotic scene to help U.S. media gain access, according to tweets from journalists.
In video footage, Grisham can be heard telling members of the press, “Go, go!” as she pushes past a man standing in front of a camera. Another man carrying a camera runs through the gap she creates.
Before the tussle, press outside the building had been told they would not be let in. But then a U.S. official said they were allowed.
Video shows a woman shouting for the U.S. pool to enter amid a din of voices.
“The North Korean security was a little overzealous, at times trying to block US reporters’ view,” wrote Jennifer Jacobs, a senior White House reporter at Bloomberg, adding that the clash “came to body blows.”
Later, Grisham could be seen directing reporters outside the House of Freedom and was with Trump at the DMZ, according to CNN.
Grisham and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Sunday, Trump briefly stepped across the border while meeting Kim in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea four months after the leaders’ last nuclear talks broke down in Vietnam.
Sunday’s private discussions, which lasted almost an hour, were billed as reopening the fraught negotiations.
“Speed is not the object, we want to see if we can do a really comprehensive, good deal,” Trump said afterward. “Nobody knows how things turn out, but certainly this was a great day, this was a very legendary, very historic day.”
Grisham has spent two years as communications director for first lady Melania Trump and replaced Sarah Sanders as White House press secretary last week.
Like Sanders before her, Grisham has been critical of the media and has “developed a reputation as a pugnacious defender” of the First Lady, as The Washington Post reported Tuesday when Grisham’s new role was announced.
Grisham, 42, has sometimes adopted a sharp tone in her statements – something traditionally not seen from the East Wing but in tune with the often confrontational stance of the Trump White House’s press operations.
When the president went after MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski in the summer of 2017, claiming falsely in a tweet that she was “bleeding badly from a facelift,” Grisham defended Trump: “When (he) gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.”
Grisham is keeping her role as the first lady’s spokeswoman as she takes on the press secretary job.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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