Trump boasts about dumping traveling press corps

Trump discloses his medical records on 'Dr. Oz'
Trump discloses his medical records on 'Dr. Oz'

This may be a new low in the tortured relations between Donald Trump and the reporters who cover him for a living.

On Thursday night, Trump began speaking in Laconia, New Hampshire, while the roughly 20 members of his traveling press corps were still half an hour away at the local airport.

Trump bragged about the media's absence, causing cheers from the crowd.

"I have really good news for you. I just heard that the press is stuck on their airplane, they can't get there," Trump said. "I love it. So they're trying to get here now, they're going to be about 30 minutes late."

Indeed, the reporters and photographers arrived 33 minutes late, just a couple of minutes before Trump ended his remarks.

Trump's speech was still widely covered because TV crews and other reporters were already there. But many of the reporters who usually travel with him were reduced to watching a live-stream of the event.

Without much else to do during the ride to the event site, beat reporters tweeted about the unusual and frustrating situation.

"What's ironic," NBC's Ali Vitali wrote, "is Trump's campaign has been lambasting Clinton's campaign for lack of transparency with press."

Related: The secrets of David Fahrenthold's reporting on the Trump Foundation

This concept of a "traveling press corps" with presidential candidates has been around for decades.

Trump has been breaking with past precedent by not bringing the group onto his campaign plane. Hillary Clinton began traveling on the same plane as her traveling press last week.

In lieu of sharing a plane, a charter plane organized by the Trump campaign -- but paid for by news outlets -- helps the traveling reporters get from campaign stop to campaign stop.

But on Thursday, Trump's plane took off from LaGuardia airport in New York City before the press charter took off from Teterboro, a private airport in New Jersey.

Trump headed straight to the speech site and declined to wait for the traveling press to catch up.

ABC's Candace Smith tweeted, "I'd like to take this moment to point out that @realDonaldTrump is the only candidate that doesn't travel with his press corps. The only one."

CNN's Dan Merica, who is part of Hillary Clinton's traveling press corps, tweeted that "HRC didn't wait for her press corps a few times when we flew on two planes. But she never publicly bragged about it."

Trump has wooed and attacked the media simultaneously ever since he entered the presidential race in June 2015. He has blacklisted some news outlets and viciously criticized news coverage -- while courting media attention and benefiting enormously from it.

Related: Are Donald Trump's media defenders choosing 'Trumpism' over conservatism?

Thursday's public snub of the press corps came as two of Trump's children are under severe media scrutiny.

Ivanka Trump cut off a testy interview with Cosmopolitan magazine on Wednesday.

And Donald Trump Jr. was criticized for telling a Philadelphia radio station that if Republicans acted like Clinton, the media would be "warming up the gas chamber."

The campaign later said he was referring to capital punishment, not the Holocaust.

Meanwhile, Trump is taking credit for some of the steep year-over-year decline in Americans' overall trust in the media. The new Gallup data about trust came out on Wednesday.

"The media has openly been dishonest and I look at that poll and I said, 'Wow,'" Trump told a radio station on Thursday morning.

"I am really proud to say that I think I had a lot to do with that poll number," he added.


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