President Trump’s campaign said Monday it will no longer give credentials to Bloomberg News reporters to cover campaign events because of coverage “biases,” an accusation that the news organization rejects.
The decision comes a week after the news service’s founder, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, announced he was seeking the Democratic nomination for president.
In response, Bloomberg News said it would cover but not investigate its boss, the former New York City mayor, and his Democratic rivals. But Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait said reporters would continue to investigate the Trump administration, as the sitting government.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale called it a troubling decision to “formalize preferential reporting policies.” He said Bloomberg reporters would no longer be credentialed to cover campaign events until the policy is rescinded.
Micklethwait said the accusation of bias couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Trump campaign’s action illustrates the difficult position Bloomberg’s candidacy has imposed on the news organization he founded in 1990.
By saying reporters could not investigate Bloomberg or his Democratic rivals, some critics have said this would prevent the news organization from doing in-depth reporting on the campaign. Bloomberg officials say it’s a position they’ve navigated before when he was mayor.
In a memo sent to staff members following Bloomberg’s announcement, Micklethwait said he would continue the organization’s policy of not investigating Bloomberg, his family or his foundation, and “will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries.”
If Bloomberg was chosen as the candidate against Trump, the policy as it affects the president will be reevaluated, he said at the time.
Bullock becomes third governor to leave campaign
Montana Governor Steve Bullock ended his Democratic presidential campaign Monday, becoming the third Western governor boasting executive experience and a Washington-outsider appeal to flame out in the contest.
The campaigns of Bullock, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, and former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper failed to gain momentum in a D.C.-centric race in which former vice president Joe Biden and Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren dominated the polls for most of the past few months.
Bullock, a 53-year-old two-term governor and former attorney general, had the textbook resume for primary success in past presidential elections. He’s a former labor lawyer and a gun owner whose governing record included expanding Medicaid in a red state. He touted across-the-aisle appeal, arguing he was the best bet to defeat President Trump because he was the only Democratic candidate to win in a state that Trump won in 2016.
But instead of following Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush on the path from the governor’s mansion to the White House, Bullock sputtered. The crowded 2020 race has centered on national debates around Trump and impeachment, and the Democratic National Committee imposed tougher polling and fund-raising thresholds to make the debate stage. Those thresholds favored those with national name recognition and established online networks, making it tough for Bullock and other newcomers to the national scene to get a toehold.
Bullock flew to Iowa and notified his staff in person on Sunday that he was dropping out.
Steyer buys Trump slogan URL on Cyber Monday
Billionaire and Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer’s “Cyber Monday Special” was purchasing the website domain for President Trump’s 2020 campaign slogan “Keep America Great.”
The site www.keepamericagreat.com directs users to purchase Steyer bumper stickers that read “Trump is a fraud and a failure.”
“Trump’s campaign prides itself on hoarding websites of political opponents, but they forgot to pick up the URL for their signature re-election slogan, ‘Keep America Great,’” Steyer’s campaign said in a statement. “Now, the website offers the opportunity to purchase a bumper sticker that highlights what a majority of Americans already know about Donald Trump.”
Trump has made a habit out of swiping website domains from rivals, preventing them from using the URLs. After Joe Biden announced his Latino outreach imitative “Todos Con Biden,” in October, Trump’s campaign bought the site todosconbiden.com. The URL directs to a page that reads “Oops, Joe forgot about Latinos” and a link to the “Latinos for Trump” campaign site. In 2015 Trump purchased the namesake domain of then-opponent Jeb Bush, JebBush.com, and had it redirect to the Trump’s website.
Since 2017, Steyer has run Need to Impeach, a political group devoted to removing Trump from office.
Congressman to plead guilty to corruption charge
California Representative Duncan Hunter said he plans to plead guilty to misusing campaign funds and is prepared to go to jail, a stunning turn of events for the six-term Republican who had steadfastly denied wrongdoing and claimed he was the victim of a political witch hunt.
Hunter said in an interview that aired Monday that he will change his not guilty plea at a federal court hearing Tuesday. He said he wants to protect his three children from going through a trial.
His wife, Margaret, also was charged in the case and in June accepted a plea deal that called for her to testify against her husband.
Hunter, who was reelected last year after being indicted and was campaigning for a seventh term next year, indicated he will leave office but didn’t say when.
An early supporter of President Trump, Hunter said he will plead guilty to one count of misuse of campaign funds. Federal prosecutors charged he and his wife with 60 criminal counts, saying they spent more than $250,000 in campaign money for golf outings, plane tickets, and a family vacation to Italy. They also said the money went to household items and airline tickets for their pet rabbit.
Prosecutors revealed salacious details about the congressman’s lifestyle, saying some money was used by Hunter to further romantic relationships with lobbyists and congressional aides.
Hunter, 42, said he will accept whatever sentence the judge gives.
Hunter’s plea sets up the prospects for a second special House election in California next year. Freshman Representative Katie Hill, a rising Democratic star, resigned her Los Angeles-area seat in October after explicit photos of her were posted online.