Donald Trump will not grant Bloomberg News reporters access to his campaign events, accusing the media company of bias as its billionaire owner Michael Bloomberg runs for president, the Trump campaign said on Monday.
After Mr Bloomberg last week formally announced his campaign, Bloomberg News editors told staff that it would not conduct investigations into Mr Bloomberg or his opponents in the Democratic race, in a bid to avoid favouring him. However, the company did not extend the same ban on investigations into Mr Trump.
Brad Parscale, Mr Trump’s campaign manager, said on Monday that the reporting decision was “troubling and wrong”.
“We are accustomed to unfair reporting practices, but most news organisations don’t announce their biases so publicly,” said Mr Parscale.
The Trump campaign will no longer credential Bloomberg News reporters for Trump rallies or campaign events, until Bloomberg News “publicly rescinds it decision”, he added.
“We will determine whether to engage with individual reporters or answer inquiries from Bloomberg News on a case-by-case basis,” he warned.
John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, said in response: “The accusation of bias couldn’t be further from the truth.
“We have covered Donald Trump fairly and in an unbiased way since he became a candidate in 2015 and will continue to do so despite the restrictions imposed by the Trump campaign.”
Mr Bloomberg joined the Democratic field last month after concluding that former vice-president Joe Biden was losing enough support to justify his late entry. The billionaire is one of 16 Democrats vying for the nomination after Montana governor Steve Bullock and Joe Sestak, a former lawmaker, dropped out on Monday.
Many party operatives think Mr Bloomberg will struggle given that he entered the race almost a year after many Democratic contenders started campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states that vote first next year. Some Democrats argue that the party’s base is also unlikely to back an old white billionaire man who has previously been a Republican, despite supporting Democratic issues such as gun control and addressing climate change.
An average of recent national polls compiled by Real Clear Politics showed Mr Bloomberg with 2.8 per cent support, placing him seventh in the field. In Iowa, Mr Bloomberg is running 11th, and he received only 1 per cent support in the last poll conducted in New Hampshire, underscoring the steep odds that he faces.
Mr Bloomberg has decided to largely eschew the early voting states, and focus instead on a national strategy that will take advantage of his huge financial resources to run large television advertising campaigns.