The Trump campaign released a statement Monday announcing that it will no longer honor credential requests from Bloomberg News reporters, after the outlet revealed last week that it would not conduct investigations of Michael Bloomberg and other Democratic presidential candidates during the 2020 primaries.
“The decision by Bloomberg News to formalize preferential reporting policies is troubling and wrong,” 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. Presented with this new policy from Bloomberg News, our campaign was forced to determine how to proceed.”
Parscale added that the campaign will decide to take questions from Bloomberg “on a case-by-case basis,” and that the policy will remain “until Bloomberg News publicly rescinds its decision.”
On November 24, Bloomberg editor John Micklethwait sent a letter to staffers laying out the organization’s response to owner Michael Bloomberg’s entry into the Democratic primary. The memo explained that members of the editorial staff were joining Bloomberg’s campaign, and that the organization should not investigate Democratic candidates but “will continue to investigate the Trump administration.”
“If Mike is chosen as the Democratic presidential candidate (and Donald Trump emerges as the Republican one), we will reassess how we do that,” Micklethwait explained.
The news prompted FEC Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky to say that the move could potentially violate campaign finance laws.
“If they’re not willing to do any negative stories that might come up about Mike, whereas they are about Trump, then they’re directly helping his campaign,” Spakovsky told the Daily Caller. “I think if a complaint were to be filed with the FEC, where I served for two years, there would be serious questions raised whether this policy violates this particular provision of the FEC.”
Responding to the campaign’s decision, Micklethwait said that “the accusation of bias couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Bloomberg News editor John Micklethwait hits back: “The accusation of bias couldn’t be further from the truth. We have covered Donald Trump fairly & in an unbiased way since he became a candidate..and will continue to do so despite the restrictions imposed by the Trump campaign.”
— Michael M. Grynbaum (@grynbaum) December 2, 2019
Following Parscale’s announcement, the Republican National Committee said it would also not honor Bloomberg credentials.
Media outlets should be independent and fair, and this decision proves that Bloomberg News is neither.
The @GOP stands with @TeamTrump and will no longer credential Bloomberg representatives. https://t.co/nxWiBbEI0s
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) December 2, 2019