June 13, 2016

In social media posts Monday, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump announced that his campaign is revoking press credentials to The Washington Post.

“Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record-setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post,” Trump wrote in a Facebook post.

Trump also announced the ban on Twitter, where he reiterated charges of inaccurate reporting.

Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron responded to Trump in a statement to Poynter:

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.

The ban on Washington Post reporters is the latest twist in a Trump campaign that has been marked by clashes with the press. Thus far, Trump’s campaign has generally preferred to ban individual reporters, rather than entire news organizations, from his events. In March, Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger was barred from a Tuesday night press conference after previously being granted access.

The Washington Post has aggressively covered Trump’s campaign this year, raising questions about his donations to veterans groups and mobilizing a team of 20 journalists to report out a book about the real-estate-mogul-turned politician.

Previously, Trump accused Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos of using The Washington Post to steer coverage away from Amazon, a charge Baron dismissed.

We were covering Donald Trump and covering Hillary Clinton thoroughly before this sort of battle of words, and we intend to continue doing that in a fair, honest, and honorable and accurate way.

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned Trump’s decision in a release Monday, retorting that “a candidate for the highest elected office in the land doesn’t get to choose what goes in a newspaper.”

Revoking the credentials of The Washington Post to cover the Trump campaign is bad for voters in the United States and bad for press freedom everywhere. It provides a ready-made excuse for authoritarian leaders to crack down further on independent journalists. We urge Donald Trump to reconsider and let The Washington Post do its job.”

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Benjamin Mullin was formerly the managing editor of Poynter.org. He also previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow,…
Benjamin Mullin

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