Donald Trump’s vindictive ban on Washington Post reporters at his campaign events will likely backfire, according to the newspaper’s most famous employee.
Bob Woodward, who helped uncover the Watergate scandal that eventually brought down President Richard Nixon, appeared Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where he said Trump can count on even more aggressive reporting by the Post.
“Look, this really isn’t right, but we’re going to continue doing this in a very aggressive, fair way,” Woodward said, echoing a statement by his boss, Martin Baron.
Woodward said his colleagues were veterans and professionals who wouldn’t be bullied by Trump, the real estate developer and reality TV star.
“They’re news hounds, and in one form or another, we’ve all been there, where people don’t like coverage or they revoke this or they say they’re not going to be interviewed,” Woodward said. “You just keep on, so I’m not worried about that.”
He warned Trump and his Democratic rival that they could not control their own narrative, because reporters would continue digging for relevant information to present to readers and viewers.
“What I’m concerned about is that there is a sense, because of some of the things Trump has said that have been rightly criticized quite severely, that this campaign is over, and it’s not over,” he said. “The goal has to be, keep at it, find out more — there’s so many questions about Trump that have not been answered, (and) the same about Hillary Clinton.”
He said Trump’s ban was just “a minor bump in the road” for reporters who are used to ferreting out information that candidates would prefer to keep hidden.
Trump imposed the ban because he was angry over a headline, “Donald Trump Suggests President Obama Was Involved With Orlando Shooting,” which was softened about 90 minutes later to “Donald Trump Seems to Connect President Obama to Orlando Shooting.”
Woodward agreed the original “was not really a good headline,” but he said the presumptive Republican nominee was wrong to revoke press credentials for Post reporters.
“Let’s face it, we are mistrusted by a majority of people in the country,” he said. “By targeting us in one way or another, this really doesn’t make sense and is not going to work, but we’ll keep doing it. This isn’t going to mean there’s no coverage — in fact, it’s going to mean there’s more coverage.”
Watch the entire segment posted online by MSNBC: