Trump campaign keeps reporters in lockdown to hide embarrassing supporters
Asked why years ago he obtained a concealed weapons permit, Trump told the CBS program "Face the Nation": "Because I like to have myself protected." (AFP Photo/Dominick Reuter)

Donald Trump's campaign is now requiring journalists to remain in a designated, roped-off area at rallies.

According to, reporters must even ask permission to use the restrooms, which they can only do while accompanied by a campaign-approved escort.

Trump and his aides are reportedly attempting to prevent reporters from interacting with and interviewing supporters and covering protests like the violent incident in which Trump fans punched and kicked a Black Lives Matter protester.

The press area is known as "the pen," and NBC's Katy Tur said on Tuesday via the social medium Twitter that the campaign is "now requiring media to have bathroom escorts at his rallies when leaving 'the pen.'"

She went on to report: "Media told they aren’t allowed to leave 'the pen' while Trump is in the room. It’s now official policy that the secret service is enforcing. “Let’s be clear -- this is even happening after the event.”

A coalition of the five leading TV networks is currently trying to force Trump's campaign to loosen its grip on reporters, who the networks say are intentionally being kept from doing their jobs.

"Senior managers from ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News spoke with Trump aides last Monday to address their grievances," said the Hill's Mark Hensch.

The notoriously thin-skinned Trump's relationship with the media -- who he called "scum" last month -- has been a contentious one, with the real estate tycoon and former reality TV star picking fights with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly an accusing the network of trying to sabotage his campaign.

Ultimately, Trump and Fox News kissed and made up, but according to the Hill, other media outlets have weathered periodic freeze-outs by the campaign for their coverage, including BuzzFeed, the Des Moines Register, Fusion, The Huffington Post and Univision.