Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has strongly condemned Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s decision to revoke The Washington Post’s press credentials and sees it as a serious violation of freedom of the press.
Donald Trump, the Republican party nominee for the 2016 United States Presidential election, proclaimed Tuesday on Facebook and Twitter that “based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post.”
Trump himself indicated that the decision came after he disagreed with a Washington Post article with the headline “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando Shooting.”
“RSF strongly and unequivocally condemns this latest act of hostility toward the press as a serious violation of press freedom,” said Delphine Halgand, RSF USA’s Director. “How, in the country of the First Amendment, can the Republican party’s nominee for President justify revoking press credentials for one of the country’s major newspapers?”
Marty Baron, Executive Editor of The Washington Post, responded to Trump’s decision in a comment: “[this] is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press. When coverage doesn’t correspond to what the candidate wants it to be, then a news organization is banished. The Post will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along – honorably, honestly, accurately, energetically, and unflinchingly. We’re proud of our coverage, and we’re going to keep at it.” RSF could not agree with him more.
This is the latest incident where Donald Trump and his campaign have made clear his disregard for freedom of the press. Previously, Donald Trump’s team has restricted media access to campaign events, he has insulted and bullied reporters who portray him negatively or ask him tough questions, and refused to participate in a republican debate because FoxNews refused to remove its reporter Megyn Kelly as a moderator.
Trump’s actions during the run up to the 2016 presidential election mark an alarming trend of curtailing freedom of the press in the United States. The U.S. ranks 41 out of 180 countries on RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.