Trump Campaign Bans Bloomberg News Reporters

Michael Bloomberg - Getty - H 2017
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The president's 2020 campaign won't credential the network's journalists to attend events and rallies, though it will consider individual requests.

Michael Bloomberg's decision to run for president has thrown up an additional hurdle for the journalists who work for him.

On Monday afternoon, Donald Trump's re-election campaign announced that it will no longer credential Bloomberg News journalists to attend campaign events or rallies, arguing that the news network is unfairly protecting presidential candidate Bloomberg from scrutiny.

"Bloomberg News has declared that they won't investigate their boss or his Democrat competitors, many of whom are current holders of high office, but will continue critical reporting on President Trump," campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. "As President Trump's campaign, we are accustomed to unfair reporting practices, but most news organizations don't announce their biases so publicly."

Continued Parscale: "Since they have declared their bias openly, the Trump campaign will no longer credential representatives of Bloomberg News for rallies or other campaign events. We will determine whether to engage with individual reporters or answers inquiries from Bloomberg News on a case-by-case basis. This will remain the policy of the Trump campaign until Bloomberg News publicly rescinds its decision."

John Micklethwait, Bloomberg's editor-in-chief, pushed back quickly in a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter.

"The accusation of bias couldn't be further from the truth," he said. "We have covered Donald Trump fairly and in an unbiased way since he became a candidate in 2015 and will continue to do so despite the restrictions imposed by the Trump campaign."

Withholding press credentials is nothing new for the Trump campaign, which did so frequently during the 2016 presidential contest, at times limiting access for journalists from The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Politico and HuffPost. Many political reporters from banned news organizations still attended and covered campaign events as members of the public.

The root of the Trump campaign's complaint is a guidance issued by Micklethwait to Bloomberg employees last weekend after the boss publicly declared his intention to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

While Bloomberg News will cover major Bloomberg and 2020 campaign developments, the editor wrote: "We will continue our tradition of not investigating Mike (and his family and foundation) and we will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries. We cannot treat Mike's Democratic competitors differently from him. If other credible journalistic institutions publish investigative work on Mike or the other Democratic candidates, we will either publish those articles in full, or summarize them for our readers — and we will not hide them. For the moment, our P&I team will continue to investigate the Trump administration, as the government of the day. If Mike is chosen as the Democratic presidential candidate (and Donald Trump emerges as the Republican one), we will reassess how we do that."

Trump's campaign rallies are all streamed live and aired on networks like Fox News, meaning that Bloomberg News journalists would only lose out on access to event-goers and venue details that could only be surmised from on-the-ground access.