Members of the press corps assigned to cover Donald Trump’s campaign have criss-crossed the country on the trail with the GOP nominee for months, but they won’t be in Mexico for Trump’s big meeting on Wednesday with President Enrique Peña Nieto.
The last-minute jaunt, which was announced late Tuesday, further strained the campaign’s relations with the press corps. Although there is a chartered plane for members of the Trump press corps, it was redirected to Phoenix ahead of the GOP nominee’s scheduled speech on immigration there on Wednesday evening.
A New York Times reporter tweeted that journalists got no heads-up about the trip and the campaign made no effort to get them to Mexico:
Trump’s traveling press corps got no heads-up about this trip, no efforts made to get them there https://t.co/xhBIPSYVSg
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 31, 2016
The move left reporters “seething” on a daily press call with Trump spokesman Jason Miller, who said only that the journalists’ complaints were “noted,” an anonymous source on the call told Politico.
The source also told Politico that the campaign didn’t reach out to the five major TV networks about covering the meeting until 3 a.m. Wednesday. Although some reporters were weighing the possibility of chartering their own flight to Mexico, they ultimately decided against it, in part because they say the campaign hadn’t indicated there would be any press availability:
After attempts and feasibility of charter going to Mexico…. Campaign ultimately said no. https://t.co/amcGWuWLNG
— Noah Gray CNN (@NoahGrayCNN) August 31, 2016
During a Wednesday morning appearance on “Fox and Friends,” campaign manager Kellyanne Conway further roiled frustrated members of the press by saying Trump would take questions from the Mexican and American press during the visit after all.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond Wednesday morning to a request from TPM seeking clarification on the decision.
Here’s what some other members of the press were saying about the Mexico trip:
Trump is setting a distressing precedent today. He’s traveling to Mexico. His traveling press has not been invited along. We’re in Phoenix.
— Jill Colvin (@colvinj) August 31, 2016
Trump’s traveling press corps will not be with him in Mexico. That’s unusual/unprecedented for a nominee taking a foreign trip…
— Robert Costa (@costareports) August 31, 2016
Likely only reporters will get mad about this, but everyone should. Sets a terrible precedent for transparency. https://t.co/DsXLHj3CV7
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) August 31, 2016
-Second trip this has happened on.
-First time it’s a foreign trip of this magnitude. https://t.co/7TN5a2DBxo
— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) August 31, 2016