The Hillary Clinton campaign reportedly denied access to Daily Mail’s designated print pool reporter in New Hampshire Monday morning.
According to the British daily newspaper, David Martosko, their U.S. political editor, was told by “Hillary for New Hampshire” staffer, Meredith Thatcher, that he was “not approved” for pooled events this morning.
“We can confirm that David Martosko, U.S. Political Editor, DailyMail.com was today denied access to Hillary Clinton’s campaign event and was prohibited from boarding a van that the Clinton campaign is using to transport pool reporters around New Hampshire,” said in a statement issued by a Daily Mail spokesperson. “We are seeking an explanation from the Clinton campaign as to why this occurred as Mr. Martosko was scheduled to be the designated print pool reporter in New Hampshire this morning.”
Martosko also spoke with Clinton press aide Nick Merrill, who told him that they would not be allowing the print reporter to cover the campaign event today, offering “varied and contradictory” reasons such as their status as a foreign publication.
First he confirmed that the concern had to do with the Daily Mail’s status as foreign press, saying; ‘We’ve been getting a lot of blowback from foreign outlets that want to be part of the pool and we need to rethink it all, maybe for a day, and just cool things off until we can have a discussion.’
Martosko then informed Merrill that the Guardian is part of the pool, and that the pool does not discriminate on the basis of media ownership.
Merrill said that the campaign’s position is that the Daily Mail does not qualify because it has not yet been added to the White House’s regular print pool – something Martosko informed him was a timing issue, not a White House choice, since Francesca Chambers, the Mail’s White House correspondent, has been vetted and has a hard pass.
‘We’re just trying to follow the same process and system the White House has,’ said Merrill.
Merrill then insisted that the decision had ‘nothing to do’ with the campaign considering the Daily Mail foreign press.
‘We don’t consider you foreign press,’ he said.
Merill then added; ‘This isn’t about you. It’s about a larger…’ and did not continue his sentence.
Merrill later insisted that his reasons were not based on the foreign-press question, but that the campaign simply wanted a day to ‘have a conversation’ about how to proceed.
‘We’re going to make the decision,’ he said, referring to choosing whether to give access to the designated print pooler.
The incident has deepened concerns among journalists that the campaign’s transparency and press access is not being considered a serious priority to the campaign’s staff.
Read more at the Daily Mail’s website.