Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has barred Bloomberg News reporters from attending its rallies after the news agency said it would not investigate founder Mike Bloomberg or his Democratic rivals for the 2020 presidential nomination.
Brad Parscale, the campaign manager for Mr Trump’s 2020 campaign, said Bloomberg News had revealed its “bias” in announcing it would continue investigating the US president but not Democrats seeking to take him on in next November’s election.
“Since they have declared their bias openly, the Trump campaign will no longer credential representatives of Bloomberg News for rallies or other campaign events,” Mr Pascale said in a statement released on Monday morning.
“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.”
Mr Bloomberg, the former New York mayor worth an estimated $50 billion, officially announced he is seeking the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination last month, jumping into the race late with a centrist pitch leaning on his business background.
Shortly after the announcement, John Micklethwait, the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News – a major news agency founded by Mr Bloomberg – issued a statement explaining what the news would mean for its coverage.
Mr Micklethwait said: “We will continue our tradition of not investigating Mike (and his family foundation) and we will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries.”
He explained that “we cannot treat Mike’s Democratic competitors differently from him”, but said if other media outlets produce investigative work on Mr Bloomberg or his rivals the news will be shared with readers.
Mr Micklethwait also said that Bloomberg News will “continue to investigate the Trump administration, as the government of the day” – the position which triggered the Trump campaign’s action on Monday.
In response to the Trump campaign announcement, Mr Micklethwait said: "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."