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Journalists on the ground in New Hampshire report some challenges getting into the room with Trump, Haley

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley arrives at a campaign event at the VFW Post in Franklin, NH on Monday. At least one local reporter said he was temporarily kicked out of the event after a mixup with campaign officials.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

In the days leading up to the New Hampshire primary, some journalists have faced resistance accessing events held by the Nikki Haley and Donald Trump campaigns.

Multiple local reporters who spoke to the Globe said they struggled to get into events organized by Haley, the former South Carolina governor and US ambassador to the United Nations, as campaign events have gotten more strict with the Republican race narrowing and Primary Day drawing near.

Daniel Sarch, a reporter and photographer at the Laconia Daily Sun, said he was temporarily kicked out of a Haley event on Monday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars building in Franklin, N.H. He said he reached out to the VFW ahead of the event and organizers gave him a wristband when he arrived onsite.


But Sarch said that some Haley staffers then questioned who he was and why he was there.

“When I was trying to prove I was from the Laconia Daily Sun, they were looking at some list and I wasn’t on it,” Sarch said. “They kicked me out temporarily.”

Sarch said he then went back to the front door where he got the wristband from the event organizers and they argued on his behalf to be let back into the event. He did get back in, but lost the original spot he had claimed to take photos.

Annmarie Timmins, a senior reporter at the nonprofit newsroom the New Hampshire Bulletin, said she registered for a Haley event in Manchester on Friday but was initially barred from entering.

“I got the confirmation and I got there and they said this doesn’t count,” Timmins said. “Finally they said, ‘fine, we’ll let it go this time.’”

A spokesperson for the Haley campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Haley was set to hold multiple events on Monday ahead of the election, according to a media advisory sent out Sunday. Most events were open only to invited press. The event in Franklin was open to journalists who RSVPed. The advisory included an all-caps, bold, and underlined note that was highlighted in yellow that confirmation after signing up is not enough to attend the event, and that attendees needed to receive an official email from the campaign.


It isn’t just local reporters that have faced hurdles.

Vaughn Hillyard, a correspondent for NBC News, told a pool of five TV networks on Sunday that the Trump campaign told him he would not be allowed to cover an event with the former president if he was pool’s reporter.

“Your pooler was told that if he was the designated pooler by NBC News that the pool would be cut off for the day,” Hillyard wrote in an email to the pool viewed by the Globe. “After affirming to the campaign that your pooler would attend the events, NBC News was informed at about 2:20pmET that the pool would not be allowed to travel with Trump today.”

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump held a campaign rally Sunday at the Rochester Opera House in Rochester, New Hampshire ahead of the state's first-in-the-nation primary on Tuesday.Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung confirmed to the The New York Times that there was not a pool reporter at the event, but the campaign does not “bar reporters based on their reporting.” Later in the day, Hillyard was allowed to cover another Trump campaign event, according to the Times.

The struggles come with the backdrop of a diminished media spotlight on a New Hampshire primary that features fewer candidates than previous cycles and a sitting president who is up for re-election, but not on the ballot in the Granite State.


With New Hampshire voters set to cast their ballot on Tuesday, reporters are now turning their focus to events on Tuesday. Timmins said she initially trouble getting information about Haley’s election day event.

She said she has been emailing the campaign for days and didn’t get a response until Monday afternoon. She had even tried the office of New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, who endorsed Haley and has been campaigning for her across the state. On Monday afternoon, she said a a spokesperson for the Haley campaign confirmed her attendance at the event on Tuesday night.

A spokesperson for the Haley campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Being in-person at these events is crucial to covering the campaign and giving readers a sense of what’s happening, the reporters said.

“Being local news, it was important for me to be there and I didn’t want to give up,” Sarch said. “New Hampshire is a place where Nikki Haley is doing well and we would be doing our readers a disservice for not being there.”

Aidan Ryan can be reached at aidan.ryan@globe.com. Follow him @aidanfitzryan.