Donald Trump will not allow reporters from the Des Moines Register into a campaign event on Saturday after complaining about being criticized by the newspaper’s editorial board.
The Register reported that it had been banned from the “family picnic” event after political columnist Kathie Obradovich was told she could not attend by Trump’s national campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.
Lewandowski confirmed the message to reporter Jennifer Jacobs later in the day on Friday.
“We’re not issuing credentials to anyone from The Des Moines Register based on the editorial that they wrote earlier in the week,” he said.
The editorial, which was published on Tuesday, called on Trump to stop his presidential campaign, arguing that despite leading in the polls among GOP candidates, “being electable is not the same as being qualified.”
“He has become ‘the distraction with traction’ — a feckless blowhard who can generate headlines, name recognition and polling numbers not by provoking thought, but by provoking outrage,” the editorial stated. “In just five weeks, he has polluted the political waters to such an extent that serious candidates who actually have the credentials to serve as president can’t get their message across to voters.”
Trump quickly called the editorial “sophomoric” in a statement, and accused the newspaper of ripping him for the sake of boosting its circulation while also holding a “liberal” editorial bias against him.
“They were uneven and inconsistent, but far more importantly, very dishonest,” Trump said. “They would rarely write the facts or report what really took place. They never captured the energy of each event and it is a constant battle with them by my representatives to get an accurate count of the large crowds I draw. They know the very impressive numbers and either reduce them or don’t report them at all.”
Amalie Nash, the newspaper’s editor and vice president for audience engagement, noted in her own statement that the editorial board works independently of the Register’s reporters.
“We work hard to provide Iowans with coverage of all the candidates when they spend time in Iowa, and this is obviously impeding our ability to do so,” she said. “We hope Mr. Trump’s campaign will revisit its decision instead of making punitive decisions because we wrote something critical of him.”
The Register is Iowa’s largest newspaper, with a reported circulation of 84,530 subscribers for its daily edition and 146,522 for its Sunday edition.