Donald Trump took a few pot shots at his traveling press corps at a Thursday rally, saying he was thrilled that a delayed plane prevented them from arriving at the event. His campaign is supposed to arrange their travel.
“I have really good news for you,” Trump told a crowd Laconia, New Hampshire. “I just heard the press is stuck on their airplane. They can’t get here. I love it. So they’re trying to get here now. They’re going to be about 30 minutes late. They called us and said could you wait? I said absolutely not. Let’s get going, New Hampshire.”
Politico reported that the press plane following Trump from New York was delayed and that the reporters assigned to his campaign only made it to the last three minutes of the rally. Reporters from the major cable networks were present for the campaign event, which was broadcast live. According to Politico, some journalists considered not covering the event in a boycott but were rebuffed by their employers.
The incident marked the latest snub to the media by a nominee who has denounced the press as “dishonest” while earning hours of free coverage. Trump previously ditched his press pool for a last-minute trip to Mexico to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto and only last week lifted a blacklist on journalists and publications whose coverage he deemed unfair. The real estate mogul has also suggested he would “open up” libel laws as president to make it easier to sue news organizations.
Trump is the first presidential candidate to go this far into the general election without traveling with his press corps. Pool reporters pay extra to travel on planes and buses arranged by the campaign in order to ensure they arrive on time to events like his Laconia rally, and Politico reported that the journalists assigned to the campaign were deeply frustrated that the Trump team failed to guarantee that they arrived on time.
Hillary Clinton began traveling on the same plane as her press pool two weeks ago.