Washington, Jun 14: A group representing reporters covering the White House today condemned Donald Trump for revoking press credentials of The Washington Post over allegations that the leading US daily was writing inaccurate stories against the Republican presumptive presidential nominee. “The White House Correspondents’ Association stands with The Washington Post and numerous other news outlets that Donald Trump has arbitrarily banned from his campaign events,” said Carol Lee, the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) president. Also Read - Momentous Day for America, Says Trump as Amy Coney Barrett Confirmed to US Supreme Court in Senate Vote
“Any nominee for the highest office in the country must respect the role of a free and adversarial press, not disown the principles of the First Amendment just because he or she does not like the tone or content of their coverage,” Lee said. WHCA represents the correspondents covering White House on a daily basis. In another statement, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) strongly condemned Trump’s decision to revoke The Washington Post’s press credentials and said this is as a serious violation of freedom of the press.(Also Read: Barack Obama slams Donald Trump for his anti-Muslim rhetoric) Also Read - Fake Melania? New Photo of US First Lady Triggers 'Body Double' Conspiracy Theories
In a Facebook posting, Trump said “based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post”. Trump himself indicated that the decision came after he disagreed with a Washington Post article with the headline “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando Shooting”. Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, said: “(this) is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press. Also Read - 'Wheels Up': US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Reach New Delhi Today
When coverage doesn’t correspond to what the candidate wants it to be, then a news organisation is banished. The Post will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along honourably, honestly, accurately, energetically, and unflinchingly. We’re proud of our coverage, and we are going to keep at it.” RSF alleged this is the latest incident where Trump and his campaign have made clear his disregard for freedom of the press.
Previously, Trump’s team has restricted media access to campaign events, he has insulted and bullied reporters who portray him negatively or ask him tough questions, and refused to participate in a Republican debate because FoxNews refused to remove its reporter Megyn Kelly as a moderator, it alleged. “Trump’s actions during the run up to the 2016 presidential election mark an alarming trend of curtailing freedom of the press in the United States,” RSF said. The US ranks 41 out of 180 countries on RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.