Did Donald Trump Revoke Press Credentials for Six News Outlets?

Reports that the President-elect had begun cancelling press credentials for major news outlets originated from a hoax news web site.


Donald Trump revoked the press credentials of six major news outlets.



Editors’ Note

This article relates to a fake news article from 2017. It is not commenting on the White House’s May 2019 decision to revoke press passes from some news outlets. You can read more about that genuine news story here.

In January 2017, web site TheLastLineofDefense.org published a hoax news article that appeared to report that Donald Trump had permanently revoked the press credentials of six major news outlets, including CNN, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, Univision and the New York Times:

When Donald Trump is sworn in, the White House Press Room, which is a large rectangular room in the West Wing, will become the White House Billiard Hall. After today’s disaster of a press conference, it became obvious to President-Elect Trump that he will have a much different relationship with the press. He told Fox News:

“We will sit down with news outlets individually, find out what they already know and fill them in with the information we feel they deserve according to how they’ve treated this administration. Some will get the whole story, like the tried and true Fox News and Breitbart and some will get next to nothing, like the horrible Politico and NPR.”

When asked where CNN, which he refused questions from at the press conference because he considers them “fake news,” Trump said:

“They’re gone. No more. Their press credentials won’t be re-issued. CNN, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, Univision and The New York Times will have to read about what happens in the White House.”

This article is not true, although it came amid a week of journalistic angst and controversy over media access to the incoming Trump administration (making the timing of this story no accident, but rather almost certainly published at the most opportune time to bring in the largest amount possible of “likes” and “shares”).

This disreputable web site has a history of publishing fake news stories, and carries a disclaimer stating that its articles should not be considered a trusted source of information:

The Resistance may include information from sources that may or may not be reliable and facts that don’t necessarily exist. All articles should be considered satirical and any and all quotes attributed to actual people complete and total baloney. Pictures that represent actual people should be considered altered and not in any way real.

This particular article is not true, but it is also close enough to the truth to have fooled some readers, due to a highly publicized dispute between the president-elect and a reporter from CNN. Trump also revoked the Washington Post’s press credentials during his presidential campaign, and blacklisted several other organizations from attending his events. However, the President-elect did not permanently revoke press credentials from six major news outlets in January 2017.

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