WASHINGTON, United States, Jun 14 – White House hopeful Donald Trump, in his latest attack on the media, said Monday he was rescinding The Washington Post’s press credentials for covering his campaign events.
“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 tweet.
Later, the campaign said in a statement that “we no longer feel compelled to work with a publication which has put its need for ‘clicks’ above journalistic integrity.”
The distinguished daily became the latest media outlet targeted by the Trump camp, which has reportedly banned several news organizations from attending his events and press conferences over the past year, including Buzzfeed, the Des Moines Register, the Huffington Post, Politico and Univision.
The dustup appeared to have been triggered by a Post story that reported Trump’s comments earlier in the day in which he slammed President Barack Obama for poor leadership in battling extremism following the horrific shooting in Orlando, Florida by a radicalized gunman.
“Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump told Fox News.
“He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands – it’s one or the other, and either one is unacceptable,” he added.
The Post wrote that Trump “seemed to repeatedly accuse President Obama on Monday of identifying with radicalized Muslims who have carried out terrorist attacks in the United States and being complicit in the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.”
The story apparently was the last straw for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
“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. Sad!”
The campaign then hit out at the Post’s owner, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
“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 campaign said.
Post executive editor Martin Baron said the paper’s coverage would not change.
Trump’s move “is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press,” Baron said in a statement.
“The Post will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along – honorably, honestly, accurately, energetically and unflinchingly.”