On Facebook and Twitter, Trump wrote that “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.”
Earlier, he had complained about a headline on a Post story, which keyed in on comments that Trump made on “Fox & Friends” on Monday.
“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!” Trump wrote.
On “Fox & Friends,” Trump said that “we’re led by a man that is either not tough , not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. People cannot believe it. They cannot believe that President Obama is acting the ways 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.”
The Post and other news outlets zeroed in on Trump’s suggestion that “there’s something going on.” The Wall Street Journal headlined its story on Trump’s comments, “Trump Suggests Obama Sympathetic to Islamic Terrorists.”
Martin Baron, the executive editor of the Post, said that Trump’s decision to revoke the 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 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 headline to the story now reads, “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting.” A Washington Post spokeswoman said that they changed the headline
We changed the headline in question shortly after it posted “to more properly reflect what Trump said.” She said the Trump campaign never contacted them about it.
Trump’s campaign has denied press access to reporters from Politico and BuzzFeed, but he has previously criticized the Post and the motives of its owner, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.
Last month, Trump accused Bezos of trying to use the Post as a “tool for political power against me and against other people,” and that Amazon had an “antitrust” problem.
Bezos said that Trump’s attacks were “not an appropriate way for a presidential candidate to behave,” while noting that he welcomed scrutiny of Amazon.
Reporters Without Borders said that Trump’s decision was “a serious violation of freedom of the press.”
The organizations’s director in the United States, Delphine Halgand, said that they “strongly and unequivocally condemns this latest act of hostility toward the press as a serious violation of press freedom. How, in the country of the First Amendment, can the Republican party’s nominee for President justify revoking press credentials for one of the country’s major newspapers?”