Just as Hillary Clinton has been avoiding press conferences, she has also kept the press corps off her campaign aircraft — until now, apparently.
But the decision was reportedly made out of exasperation.
ABC News reported that beginning Monday, reporters that have been assigned to cover the former secretary of state will no longer be relegated to traveling on separate flights. She’ll be upsizing her campaign plane to accommodate reporters.
Clinton has been repeatedly criticized for her lack of access to the press. Until now, only Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, have traveled with reporters on their respective aircraft.
A Clinton aide reportedly told a Politico reporter that he hoped the decision will “shut you the hell up.”
Politico’s chief political correspondent Glenn Thrush reported:
Hillary aide on press joining her on plane next week: “I hope this will shut you the hell up”
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) September 2, 2016
Thrush later told Mediaite in an email that the aide’s remark was said “half-jokingly. The email said:
I was arguing, as often do with Clinton’s people about access (during a background conversation on another story), when the person (who I like) said half-jokingly that she’d give more access once they fired up the campaign plane in part to shut me the hell up. The delivery was friendly, and we both laughed, but the point was telling, which is why I tweeted it.
Joking or not, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tweeted of the Clinton aide’s remark:
This speaks volumes… https://t.co/iM8Ks4EnT1
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) September 2, 2016
And reporters also weighed in on the remark:
At least they are transparent in their contempt https://t.co/RgHwxl0Ius
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) September 2, 2016
Excellent attitude toward the guardians of democracy from the Democratic nominee for president. https://t.co/em3zwKjCcI
— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) September 2, 2016
This sure bodes well for a Clinton Administration’s view on press freedom https://t.co/z5Z7z7fIcQ
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) September 2, 2016
But one person wondered if the change might come at a price:
— Marie von Astra (@marievonastra) September 2, 2016
Clinton is scheduled to travel to Ohio and the Quad Cities, a region of four counties in northwest Illinois and Southeastern Iowa.
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