Beto O’Rourke’s campaign accused Breitbart on Wednesday of walking the line “between being news and a perpetrator of hate speech” and defended its decision to remove one of the ring-wing publication’s reporters from a campaign event in South Carolina a day earlier. “Beto for America believes in the right to a free press and works hard to ensure the campaign reflects that,” national press secretary Aleigha Cavalier told Politico. “However, whether it’s dedicating an entire section of their website to ‘black crime,’ inferring that immigrants are terrorists, or using derogatory terms to refer to LGBTQ people, Breitbart News walks the line between being news and a perpetrator of hate speech.” Cavalier also said Joel Pollak, the reporter removed from the event at a historically black college, had “previous hateful reporting” and claimed Pollak was kicked out to “ensure that the students attending the event felt comfortable and safe.”
On Tuesday, Pollak claimed that a campaign staffer had “threatened” him at the event and suggested he would be arrested if he didn't leave voluntarily. Breitbart called the campaign's characterization of the site “false,” and said the claims against Pollak were “absurd” in a statement to Politico.