New York Times journalist Trip Gabriel was ejected from a Donal Trump event.
I was late to Donald J. Trump’s unannounced visit to a Pizza Ranch on Friday, his first drop-by of this ubiquitous Iowa chain that is standard stop for candidates, but which Mr. Trump has avoided in favor of boisterous crowds in big halls.
I opened my briefcase and extended my arms for a Secret Service screening, then entered the restaurant crowded with Trump supporters in campaign T-shirts. There was a knot of TV cameras and still photographers, who had been bused to the location. Mr. Trump was already speaking in a back room.
Barely a minute later, I was ejected from the restaurant by a Trump staff member and a local police officer.
“It’s a private event, you have to go,’’ the officer said, even though the 20 or so other journalists continued to cover the event.
A Trump campaign aide walking beside the officer said I was being excluded on orders from “Chuck and Stephanie,’’ an apparent reference to Mr. Trump’s Iowa state director, Chuck Laudner, and his wife, Stephanie, also a staff member.
In a text message later, Mr. Laudner said, “I didn’t even know you were there.’’