WASHINGTON — After Donald Trump announced he is revoking the campaign credentials for The Washington Post, a columnist for the news organization said it would be a “disaster” if the policy transferred to the White House if he is elected.
Trump on Monday said that The Washington Post will no longer be issued press credentials to cover the campaign, in response to the news outlet publishing an article that he didn’t agree with.
Washington Post media columnist Erik Wemple says that during Trump’s campaign, the denial of credentials is “not such a crisis,” as his major events and rallies are pretty well covered and video-taped. Therefore, if reporters cannot get in as regular citizens, they’ll still be able to keep track of what goes on.
But, he said, it would change completely if Trump is elected president.
“That is where the rubber hits the road,” Wemple said on WTOP Tuesday. “It would be a disaster and those would be things that Trump would be on the hook for in his official capacity.”
Wemple says that if Trump were to deny news organizations access if he becomes president because he believed that the coverage was “incredibly inaccurate,” as his campaign did when the Post published the article in question, there could be claims of government wrongdoing.
“Congress could investigate. It would be a disaster, it would be a civic disaster for our country if that happened and it’s clear that Donald Trump would use the resources of the government to do exactly this,” Wemple said.
“I can’t imagine him changing his stripes just because he was elected president. In fact, I imagine that the censorship would be more vigorous,” he said.
The article in question was one of many by various news outlets published following the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s phone interview on the show “Fox & Friends,” where Trump mentioned President Barack Obama when talking about the Orlando terrorist attack. Trump said, “he’s got something else in mind” and that “there’s something going on, it’s inconceivable.”
The Post first published an article, which included the phrase, “Trump seems to suggest involvement by Obama.” It then changed the article after Trump’s Facebook page made a post on the issue, to read, “Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting.”