Reporters from Fusion were denied entry to a Donald Trump campaign rally in Doral, Florida Friday evening due to—in the words of a top campaign staffer— Mr. Trump’s pending lawsuit against Univision. Fusion is jointly owned by Univision and Disney/ABC.
The Trump campaign, which days earlier had approved Fusion’s media credentials by email, denied Fusion reporters entry to the event several hours before the rally was scheduled to begin. Univision reporters also got the boot.
“Mr. Trump is suing Univision for $500 million and until that is resolved it is a conflict,” Hope Hicks, Trump’s campaign communications manager, told Fusion in a text message.
Hicks is referring to the $500 million lawsuit Trump filed against Univision in June for alleged breach of contract and defamation, after the network announced it would not broadcast the Miss Universe pageant following Trump’s racist and inflammatory comments about Mexicans being rapists and criminals.
Hicks denies that Fusion’s media credentials were ever approved by McEntee. “I am the only one who can approve credentials,” she told Fusion in a text message. “John may have said all set confirming receipt of your email.”
However, the original event invite sent from the “Donald J. Trump for President Press Office” clearly informs journalists that “For media credentials contact John McEntee.”
This is not the first time Trump’s tin-pot media censorship tactics were on display. Throughout the summer the Republican presidential candidate has reportedly denied credentials from The Des Moines Register and Huffington Post. And in August Trump ejected Fusion and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from a press conference in Iowa after a heated exchange. Ramos was later let back into the press conference.
Editor’s note: updated to include additional comments from Trump campaign.