Donald Trump threatened to pull the New York Times‘ press credentials at a rally tonight in Fairfield, Connecticut. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the escalating attack against the New York Times (against which Trump has previously spoken) were due to recent NYT coverage of the inside of Trump’s allegedly failing campaign.
“I’m not running against crooked Hillary,” Trump told the hushed crowd. “I’m running against the crooked media. That’s what I’m running against, it’s true.”
“But these are the most dishonest people. The good news is, I love, you know, I put down ‘failing at New York Times‘. The newspaper’s going to hell. They’ve got a couple of reporters in that newspaper who are so bad with, I mean, lack of talent, but it’s going to hell. So I think maybe what we’ll do, maybe we’ll start thinking about taking their press credentials away from them.”
The New York Times article that allegedly provoked his comments was published earlier today, and cites numerous sources within the Trump campaign, both anonymous and otherwise — sources which Trump says don’t exist. “It’s a garbage paper,” he added.
The article, by NYT reporters Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman, paints a grim picture of the state of Trump’s campaign. While spokespeople assure his voters that Trump is doing just fine, sources tell another story; that of a candidate who ignores his advisers’ pleas to stop making damaging statements, who is not convinced that he will win but insists on continuing to run his campaign the way he always has, and who is “often sullen and erratic” away from the public eye.
“He veers from barking at members of his staff to grumbling about how he was better off following his own instincts during the primaries and suggesting he should not have heeded their calls for change.”
He also, according to the article, often broods over his worsening relationship with the media — a relationship that he isn’t helping any by suggesting that he will revoke the press credentials of his detractors.
Anonymous sources, defined by the NYT as “more than 20 Republicans who are close to Mr. Trump or in communication with his campaign,” described Trump as a man who is “exhausted, frustrated and still bewildered by fine points of the political process and why his incendiary approach seems to be sputtering.”
And his Fairfield rally only seemed to confirm that his mood was rapidly deteriorating; Trump seems unable lately to put on a happy face, and it’s a far cry from the candidate who danced around the stage at GOP debates mocking his opponents.
According to the CT Post, Trump arrived late to the rally. A woman at the rally carrying a “Dump Trump” sign had it torn from her hands before being ejected to a cry of “Get her out!” from Trump. He openly mocked the first name of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and blasted him over the loss of General Electric’s headquarters which relocated from Fairfield to Boston.
“How did you lose General Electric? You have a bad governor.”
Many GOP legislative candidates refused to attend the rally at all.
Additionally, within the first minute of the rally, he’d incited the crowd to jeer the reporters there more than half a dozen times — it’s no wonder he enjoys a poor relationship with the media.
And while Trump is known for his vitriol and bombastic speeches, none of this points to an emotionally stable candidate, showing none of his, as the NYT put it, former “boyish exuberance.”
It is, at best, troubling that a candidate for the highest office in the nation would enthusiastically contemplate revoking access to media outlets that he personally doesn’t like.
But what is truly worrisome is that of all people, especially if he wins the presidency, Donald Trump might just do it.
[Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images]