A man who identified himself as a working journalist was escorted out a room where a joint press conference in Helsinki between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin was scheduled to be held.
Sam Husseini had received credentials for the event through U.S.-based magazine The Nation but no details on the type of credentials he received were available. Husseini was holding up a sign that read, “Nuclear weapons test ban.”
WATCH: US activist forcibly removed prior to Trump-Putin press conference
“At a time when this administration consistently denigrates the media, we’re troubled by reports that he was forcibly removed from the press conference before the two leaders began to take questions,” a statement by the magazine read.
Husseini has written one article for The Nation, in June 2017. According to his biography on the website, he is the communications director for the Institute for Public Accuracy, a nonprofit organization aiming to increase "the reach and capacity of progressive and grassroots organizations ... by getting them and their ideas into the mainstream media,” according to the institute's website.
Husseini was forcefully removed from the press conference site by the U.S. Secret Service but was allowed to return to gather his belongings, CNN reported. According to video of the incident, Husseini said he was there to ask a question rather than protest.
“You’re grabbing me for what?” Husseini could be heard asking. “I’m telling you what I’m doing. I’m being totally open.”
Both Trump and Putin have been criticized for their hostile nature toward journalists. Trump has repeatedly called journalists “the enemy of the American people,” while more than 30 journalists have been murdered in Russia since Putin came to power in 2000, according to PolitiFact.
An earlier version of this story referred to Sam Husseini as a reporter. VOA has been unable to verify the exact type of credentials he was issued and whether he attended the event in a journalistic capacity. VOA, therefore, opted to describe him as an activist.