A New York Times reporter who had written a critical story about GOP front runner Donald Trump’s Iowa campaign operation was kicked out of a campaign event on Friday.
Times reporter Trip Gabriel wrote he arrived late to an event at Pizza Ranch in Iowa. But shortly after arriving and going through screening, Gabriel was turned away by a Trump campaign staffer and a police officer.
“A Trump campaign aide walking beside the officer said I was being excluded on orders from ‘Chuck and Stephanie,’ an apparent reference to Mr. Trump’s Iowa state director, Chuck Laudner, and his wife, Stephanie, also a staff member,” Gabriel wrote.
The officer told him, “It’s a private event, you have to go.”
Earlier this week, Gabriel wrote a story entitled, “Donald Trump’s Iowa Ground Game Seems to Be Missing a Coach.” In it, he notes that Trump’s ground team in Iowa is disorganized.
“Compared with the well-oiled machines of other leading candidates in both parties, particularly that of the Cruz campaign, the Trump ground game in Iowa seems partly an afterthought, as if Mr. Trump’s strategy is to leverage his charisma — the appeal that draws thousands to his rallies — to motivate voters,” Gabriel writes.
He points out that volunteers tapped to lead efforts and turn out voters for the caucuses less than three weeks away include a 9/11 truther, a person who has yet to knock on a single door and a person who believes finding 25 voters is impossible to do.
Trump is often at odds with the news media, while he has been accused of creating a potentially dangerous mob mentality among his supporters at rallies.
Earlier this month, Trump hollered at a cameraman at a Mississippi rally who wasn’t following his orders to pan the camera.
“They don’t want to show the crowd,” Trump had said, prompting boos from the audience. “That’s what it is. They’re really dishonest people.”
This week, a crew from The Young Turks was also thrown out of a rally in Vermont, prompting host Cenk Uygur to caution that Trump’s bullying tactics were similar to those employed by fascists.
Trump’s most high-profile spat with a journalist was most likely his feud with Fox News host and debate moderator Megyn Kelly in August.
“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever,” he infamously told CNN. “In my opinion, she was off-base.”
In August, Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos was roughly thrown from a press conference for asking a question about Trump’s statements about immigration.