Newly announced Democratic presidential candidate, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during a press conference to discuss his presidential run on November 25, 2019 in Norfolk, Virginia.
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President Donald Trump is revoking press credentials for Bloomberg News employees in response to its decision to refrain from investigating Mike Bloomberg or his Democratic rivals during the presidential primaries, a campaign spokesman said Monday.
The announcement highlights the precarious situation the news organization faces as the billionaire owner of its parent company runs for president. Trump has frequently targeted the media in speeches, interviews and on Twitter.
This is not the first time that the Trump campaign has revoked a media outlet’s credentials. During Trump’s 2016 presidential run, his campaign revoked the press credentials of reporters from The Washington Post, Politico, Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post. Yet in these instances, the outlets were not owned by Trump’s political opponent.
Bloomberg announced he was entering the Democratic race in late November. Bloomberg News declared shortly afterward that it would refrain from investigating Bloomberg or his rivals during the primaries, but would proceed with its coverage of Trump undeterred.
At the time, the company described the decision as keeping in line with previous policy. “Bloomberg News has a longstanding policy of not investigating Mike, his family or his foundation,” said an internal Bloomberg memo.
The Trump campaign, however, called on Bloomberg News to reverse its decision.
“The decision by Bloomberg News to formalize preferential reporting policies is troubling and wrong,” wrote Brad Parscale, a campaign manager for Trump 2020.
“Since they have declared their bias openly, the Trump campaign will no longer credential representatives of Bloomberg News for rallies or other campaign events,” continued Pascale. “We will determine whether to engage with individual reporters or answer 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.”
The Republican National Committee supported Trump’s decision.
“Media outlets should be independent and fair, and this decision proves that Bloomberg News is neither,” Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. McDaniel said the GOP will no longer credential Bloomberg representatives at RNC events.
Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait defended its coverage of Trump in a statement on Monday.
“The accusation of bias couldn’t be further from the truth. 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,” he said.
— CNBC’s Christina Wilkie and Brian Schwartz contributed to this report.