Donald Trump on Tuesday defended his decision to pull press credentials for journalists he views as “unfair” but promised he wouldn’t give the media the same treatment if he’s elected to the White House.
“I’m a person running for office. I rent these large arenas…so I have an option” to bar access to certain members of the media, Trump said in an interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter.
But he repeatedly said he would not have the same policy as President.
“It’s a different thing” at the White House, Trump said. “When I’m representing the United States, I wouldn’t do that. But I would let people know if somebody’s untruthful.”
Asked if the Washington Post’s credentials would be restored, Trump said, “All I want is to be treated fairly.”
“By the way, if I have a bad story, that’s okay, if it’s true. If I deserve it. You know, I’ll deserve bad stories on occasion. Hopefully not too often,” the presumptive GOP nominee said. But he declined to identify a specific time when he deserved a “bad story.”
Press credentials identify reporters, photographers and videographers as members of the media at campaign events. Journalists are often unable to attend the events without credentials.
On Monday, Trump announced he would revoke press credentials for the “phony and dishonest” Washington Post over the paper’s coverage of his remarks after the shooting rampage at an Orlando LGBT nightclub suggesting Obama could secretly be in league with terrorists.
The Post is far from the only outlet to earn Trump’s ire. CNN published accounts from multiple national media organizations – BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post and Politico among them – that have been barred from events after unfavorable coverage of the New York businessman.