Donald Trump revoked the Washington Post’s press credentials from his presidential campaign, saying the newspaper is a front for Amazon.com Inc.’s political agenda.
“They have no integrity and they write falsely about Mr. Trump,” the presumptive Republican nominee’s campaign said in a statement.
The 138-year-old Post, owned by Amazon founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, called Trump’s move an attempt to strong-arm the press by controlling access, and other journalism groups rallied to the newspaper’s side. Amazon referred questions to the newspaper. The decision “is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press,” Marty Baron, executive editor of the Post, said in a statement.
Trump took issue with a Post story on his comments to Fox News about President Barack Obama’s handling of terrorism in the U.S. The newspaper said Trump’s statements that “there’s something going on” in the president’s behavior implied that Obama played a role in the Orlando attacks.
Trump’s campaign said Amazon’s owners use the Post as a mouthpiece to help avoid paying taxes and to use monopoly power against other retailers. Bezos acquired the Post in 2013 for $250 million.
“Revoking the credentials of the Washington Post to cover the Trump campaign is bad for voters in the United States and bad for press freedom everywhere,” the Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement. “It provides a ready-made excuse for authoritarian leaders to crack down further on independent journalists.”