How does Donald Trump decide to go so far as to bar a reporter from his events? It apparently involves a lot of Google News printouts, a marker and a little help from his campaign spokeswoman.
A GQ profile of Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks published Monday detailed just how Trump goes about catching up on the news about his campaign—and how one article can get a writer banned from attending his events.
“She sees the tantrums, and there are tantrums,” an anonymous source who’s been with both Trump and Hicks told GQ. “He reads something he doesn’t like by a reporter, and it’s like, ‘This motherfucker! All right, fine. Hope?’ He circles it. ‘This guy’s banned! He’s banned for a while.’ That’s exactly how it works.”
According to the GQ report, each morning staffers print 30 to 50 Google News results for “Donald J. Trump” so he can peruse the articles. Trump then circles and annotates things he does and does not like so that scans of the marked-up reports can be sent back to the journalist.
Oddly enough, the GQ profile did not feature a single quote from Hicks herself; instead, the campaign elected to have Trump speak about Hicks while the press secretary sat in the room silently.
Trump’s strained relationship with the press is well-known and well-documented. The Trump campaign recently revoked The Washington Post’s press credentials and a Politico reporter was escorted out of a Trump event earlier this month after reporting from outside the press pen because he had been denied a press pass.