A local NBC station has fired a reporter after he was seen wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat while covering a rally featuring President Donald Trump on Oct. 4.
James Bunner, a multimedia journalist for KTTC-TV in Austin, Minnesota, was fired the day after the rally in Rochester.
People attending the rally snapped pictures of Bunner, as did Mark Vancleave, a photographer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
KTTC-TV News Director Noel Sederstrom told The Associated Press that the station does not allow staff members to cover stories while wearing apparel from political campaigns.
The “Make America Great Again,” or “MAGA,” gear stems from a slogan Trump used while campaigning for president and often invokes during his rallies.
The gear includes hats, shirts, and other items.
According to a now-deleted profile of Bunner on KTTC’s website, he joined the broadcaster in December 2017. He has not commented on why he wore the hat.
— Mark Vancleave 📹+📷 (@MDVancleave) October 4, 2018
Rally Attracts Thousands
A City of Rochester spokesman told KTTC that 14,000 people attended the rally, which included thousands who weren’t able to get in.
Trump told people to vote for Republicans in Minnesota, including Karin Housley, who is running against Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.). Smith is filling the seat vacated by Al Franken.
Trump focused on the battle over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, reported The Epoch Times.
“Tina Smith is voting against Judge Kavanaugh, can you believe that one?” Trump said as he called for Smith to be voted out. “Vote for Karin!”
Trump has been rallying across the country ahead of the November mid-term elections, repeatedly telling people to get out and vote.
“On Tuesday, November 6, I need your vote. I need your support to stop radical Democrats and to elect proud Minnesota Republicans,” Trump said on Oct. 4. “If Democrats take over congress the stock market will plummet.”
He also noted that a larger Republican majority in the House and Senate will allow him to implement more of his plans. “We’re getting the wall but it’s so difficult to get the money for the wall,” he said, citing Democrat obstruction.
He has rallies scheduled in Topeka, Kansas; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Erie, Pennsylvania; Lebanon, Ohio; and Richmond, Kentucky.