Brad Parscale, campaign manager for President Donald Trump. | M. Scott Mahaskey/Politico
The Trump campaign announced Monday that it will no longer credential Bloomberg reporters for campaign events in response to the outlet’s decision not to investigate its owner, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, or his Democratic rivals for president.
“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.
“Since they have declared their bias openly, the Trump campaign will no longer credential representatives of Bloomberg News for rallies or other campaign events,” he continued, adding that the campaign will determine whether to engage with individual reporters or inquiries on a “case-by-case basis” and that the move “will remain the policy of the Trump campaign until Bloomberg News publicly rescinds its decision.”
The company’s top editor told staff last week that it would not initiate investigations into Bloomberg, his family or his foundation, adding that “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,” Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait said in a memo.
For now, he said, reporters will “continue to investigate the Trump administration, as the government of the day,” and that the company would reassess that policy if Bloomberg becomes the Democratic nominee.
Micklethwait quickly swiped back at the Trump campaign 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 in a statement.
How to cover the political ambitions of its owner has been an issue that has plagued the company in the past as Bloomberg has flirted with runs for the presidency. After taking several steps toward running last month, Bloomberg officially announced last week that he would make a late entry into the 2020 race.
The move by the Trump campaign is reminiscent of 2016, when it denied press credentials to numerous outlets, including POLITICO, for various reasons.