Donald J. Trump, who popularized the term “fake news” and declared the news media the “enemy of the people” as president, is again clashing with reporters, this time over press access to his 2024 campaign events.
An NBC News correspondent said on Sunday that Mr Trump’s aides blocked him from covering an event in New Hampshire, where the former president was scheduled to make his first personal remarks since Florida Governor Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race. There was hope.
Vaughn Hilliard, a longtime NBC News correspondent who regularly covers Mr. Trump, had planned to attend as a pool reporter representing the five major TV networks. But he told other campaign reporters that the Trump team had objected to his presence.
“Your pooler was told that if he was the pooler nominated by NBC News, the pool would be closed for the day,” Mr. Hillyard wrote in an email to the rest of the pool members, obtained by The New York Times. I went. “After the campaign confirmed that Pooler would be attending the events, NBC News was informed at approximately 2:20 p.m. that Pooler would not be allowed to travel with Trump today.”
Because candidates’ events are often in tight spaces, campaign journalists have long relied on the so-called pool system, in which a reporter participates on behalf of other news organizations. The television pool includes ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC, with the networks operating on a predetermined schedule. Each network selects an individual reporter who is assigned to represent the pool.
A spokesman for the Trump campaign, Steven Cheung, acknowledged that the network pool did not participate in the New Hampshire event, but added that the Trump campaign “does not restrict journalists based on their reporting.” Mr. Cheung said campaign networks hold few events without a pool, and noted that the pooling system for presidential candidates is less formal than the system for covering the president at the White House.
“We work with each other when it makes sense for both parties,” Mr Cheung said.
NBC News declined to comment. Later on Sunday, Mr. Hilliard was allowed to attend a rally that Mr. Trump was holding at an opera house in Rochester, N.H.
Sunday’s incident repeated several incidents in Mr Trump’s political career where he barred journalists from attending events or news conferences. In the 2016 campaign, he banned reporters from The Washington Post and BuzzFeed News from attending some rallies. As president, his administration revoked CNN reporters’ press passes and banned some journalists from certain public events.
Mr Hillard has previously troubled Mr Trump with questions the former president deemed inappropriate. Last March, during a meeting with reporters on his plane, Mr. Trump snatched Mr. Hilliard’s phone and asked that he be fired. “Get him out of here,” Mr Trump told aides, according to audio published by the Times. Vanity Fair,
On Friday, at a separate event in New Hampshire, Mr. Hilliard pressed again and again Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, a close Trump ally, spoke about Mr Trump being found liable in a civil suit for the sexual assault of author E. Jean Carroll.