Donald Trump said Monday that he is “revoking” the Washington Post’s press access at his campaign events, calling the newspaper “phony and dishonest.”
In a Facebook post, the presumptive GOP nominee attributed the decision to the newspaper’s “incredibly inaccurate coverage.”
Trump also released at press release about Monday’s decision:
“The Washington Post unfortunately covers Mr. Trump very inaccurately. Today’s headline, “Donald Trump Suggests President Obama Was Involved With Orlando Shooting” is a perfect example. We no longer feel compelled to work with a publication which has put its need for “clicks” above journalistic integrity.
They have no journalistic integrity and write falsely about Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump does not mind a bad story, but it has to be honest. The fact is, The Washington Post is being used by the owners of Amazon as their political lobbyist so that they don’t have to pay taxes and don’t get sued for monopolistic tendencies that have led to the destruction of department stores and the retail industry.”
The Post’s executive editor Marty Baron responded:
“Donald Trump’s decision to revoke The Washington Post’s press credentials is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press. When coverage doesn’t correspond to what the candidate wants it to be, then a news organization is banished. The Post will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along — honorably, honestly, accurately, energetically, and unflinchingly. We’re proud of our coverage, and we’re going to keep at it.”
Monday’s announcement was an astonishing move by the Trump campaign, given the Post’s status as one of the most respected newsrooms in the United States.
But it follows a pattern. Trump has repeatedly refused to give press credentials to major news outlets when he disagrees with coverage decisions.
BuzzFeed, Politico, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post are among the other outlets that have been blocked in recent months. Some journalists have described this as an emerging Trump “blacklist.”
On Monday Trump was apparently outraged by a headline on a Post story that summarized comments he made about the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
“I am no fan of President Obama, but to show you how dishonest the phony Washington Post is, they wrote, ‘Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting’ as their headline,” Trump said in a post on Facebook. “Sad!”
In an interview Monday morning on Fox News, he said, “Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.”
Trump’s remarks about Obama were widely interpreted to be sinister in nature.
The Post later adjusted the story to make the headline tamer. It now reads, “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting.”
Reporters that do not receive press credentials are sometimes still able to attend Trump events as members of the general public. But sometimes the denial of press credentials restricts access altogether.
Last week, for example, BuzzFeed DC bureau chief John Stanton said he was prohibited from attending Trump’s primary night press event at a golf course.
“Wasn’t even let on the premises of Trump’s golf course for his press conference,” Stanton tweeted.