Two people were kicked out of the Republican National Convention Tuesday for “deplorable” behaviour after they reportedly threw peanuts at a black CNN camera operator, saying: “This is how we feed animals.”

“Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable,” the convention said in a statement. “This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated."

CNN confirmed there was an “incident” involving one of its employees inside the Tampa, Florida arena where the Republican convention is being held.

The cable news network said “multiple witnesses” heard the slur against the female camera operator. Security and police immediately removed two people from the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

“CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment,” the network said in a blog post on its website.

Neither CNN nor the Republican Party offered further details.

Wolf Blitzer, one of CNN’s most prominent anchors, addressed the incident on-air for the first time on Wednesday, calling it a “truly shocking development…one that hit home to all of us here at CNN.”