‘Get out of here!’ Feisty raccoons have been repeatedly attacking reporters at the White House

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President Donald Trump may not have anything to do with it but it seems raccoons are repeatedly targeting the media at the White House.

The latest confrontation between a CNN reporter and a masked mammal on the White House lawn was captured on video and has gone viral on social media where it has been viewed nearly two million times. CNN senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns was praised for his handling of the face-off with the raccoon just before a live shot.

Johns was in between live shots during CNN’s “New Day” early Wednesday when he had an encounter with the White House raccoon. But it wasn’t the first time the reporter had met the four-legged creature as he revealed how he had felt something tug at his leg last week just before going live from the White House and looked down to see a raccoon.

“What would you do? I freaked out,” he said, according to CNN. “This was 20 sec before air and I start yelling at it, ‘Get out of here!'”

But Wednesday brought another meeting with the furry creature as Johns waited to continue his live shot. CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota shared a video of the moment on her Twitter account, where she praised Johns as a “consummate professional.”

“An NBC cameraman yells my name after my tape insert… I turn around and it’s there again,” Johns explained.

“Get!” the reporter yelled at the raccoon during his pre-dawn shot at the White House.

Seconds after he hurled an object toward the animal to scare it off, Johns was back on the air to continue his report, saying, “Now, no events on the president’s schedule today …”

“Frickin’ raccoons, man,” he said once he was off the air. “God, again! This is the second time! Jesus … It always comes around right around when I’m about to go on TV.”

Social media users praised his handling of the situation.

“Oh my god. @joejohnscnn telling a raccoon to get lost is giving me life,” CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan tweeted.

“Joe Johns is a 2020 mood,” Vice News’ Elizabeth Landers wrote.

“So, this is the second time the raccoon has come back at the top of ‘New Day.’ Who knows why, but I think it’s the light that attracts the animals, and you add to that — the fact that White House campus is now barren of people… and the animals have run of the house,” Johns said, according to CNN. “The magic of television, and no one had a clue.”

Johns addressed the incident on Twitter as well where he noted that “no animals were harmed” and that the critters are probably “attracted to the lights.”

Apparently the raccoon greeting Johns is not alone. CBS News White House correspondent Paula Reid reported that a raccoon had “attacked multiple news crews” late last month.

Federal authorities apparently set up traps for the raccoons and used marshmallows as bait, according to Reid.

Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner, a White House producer for NBC News, also shared pre-dawn video this week which showed Secret Service agents “trying to wrangle a raccoon.”

All of the White House raccoon shenanigans prompted the launch of a new Twitter account named “That Whitehouse Racoon,” which claims to “hate squirrels and Fake News.”

“I have no regrets, I’d do it again,” the account joked in response to a tweet about attacking “the enemy of America.”

Ronald the White House Raccoon also joined Twitter this month

 

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Frieda Powers

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