Trump Campaign Bans Bloomberg Reporters from Rallies, Says 'They Have Declared Their Bias Openly'

The re-election campaign of President Donald Trump announced Monday that reporters from Bloomberg News will be denied press credentials at rallies and campaign events, after the outlet was said to have "declared their bias openly."

Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said the decision was due to the news outlet's recent announcement that the "tradition" of not investigating the company's owner, presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, would be extended to his Democratic primary rivals but not to Trump.

"The decision by Bloomberg News to formalize preferential reporting policies is troubling and wrong," said Parscale in a press release.

On November 24, the same day Bloomberg announced his presidential campaign, Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait sent a memo to his staff, explaining that the organization would "continue to investigate the Trump administration, as the government of the day," while laying out how the Democratic primaries would be covered.

"We will continue our tradition of not investigating Mike (and his family and foundation) and will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries. We cannot treat Mike's Democratic competitors differently from him," wrote Micklethwait in the memo. "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."

Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait just sent this note to staffers: "There is no point in trying to claim that covering this presidential campaign will be easy for a newsroom that has built up its reputation for independence in part by not writing about ourselves..."

— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 24, 2019

Parscale believes the policy is an open declaration of bias and the Trump campaign has been "forced" to ban Bloomberg News from the events. Although the reporters will be denied official credentials, Trump rallies and campaign events are generally open to the public.

Trump and Bloomberg
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pictured with then-candidate Donald Trump at a 9/11 memorial service on September 11, 2016. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty

"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," Parscale said. "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."

"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 Parscale. "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."

Micklethwait said the policy would be revisited if Bloomberg and Trump end up facing off in the general election. In a statement responding to the Trump campaign, the Bloomberg News editor denied the accusations of bias, while vowing to continue covering Trump.

"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," Micklethwait said.