Donald Trump said on Monday he will no longer issue press credentials to The Washington Post, keeping one of the country's most influential newspapers from having access to press areas at his presidential campaign events, reported Reuters.
"They have no journalistic integrity and write falsely about Mr. Trump," his campaign said in a statement explaining the decision. "Mr. Trump does not mind a bad story, but it has to be honest."
Trump's campaign repeated criticism the candidate has made of Post owner Jeff Bezos, who also owns online retailer Amazon.com.
"The fact is, The Washington Post is being used by the owners of Amazon as their political lobbyist so that they don't have to pay taxes and don't get sued for monopolistic tendencies that have led to the destruction of department stores and the retail industry," Trump's statement said.
It is unusual for a presidential campaign to refuse to issue credentials to news organizations. Credentials are needed for reporters, photographers and other staff to gain access to press seating, travel with the campaign and attend media-only events, like press conferences.
"Donald Trump's decision to revoke The Washington Post's press credentials is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press," the newspaper's editor, Marty Baron, said in a statement.
"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 Donald 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."
A source close to the campaign said the ban could be temporary and pointed out that Trump has already barred other new organizations, including Politico, from obtaining press credentials and then reversed course.
Ben Smith, executive editor of Buzzfeed, responded that his news organization, which targets millennials, is also banned from covering official Trump events. The Huffington Post posted on Twitter that its reporters are also barred.
"A candidate for the highest elected office in the land doesn't get to choose what goes in a newspaper," said Committee to Protect Journalist Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney. "It provides a ready-made excuse for authoritarian leaders to crackdown further on independent journalists. We urge Donald Trump to reconsider and let The Washington Post do its job."
Trump's campaign took issue with an article that appeared on the Post's website earlier on Monday with the headline, "Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting' as their headline." The headline was changed to "Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting" within an hour after it was published.
The Washington Post has assigned a team of reporters to produce a book about Trump that is scheduled to be released later this year.
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