- The Washington Times - Friday, September 16, 2016

In a rare if not unprecedented rebuke to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, executives for various news agencies covering the campaign agreed Friday via emergency conference call to erase videotaped footage of a tour of Mr. Trump’s new hotel that had been filmed for the campaign press pool.

“The pool rules state any event that is pooled with cameras, there has to be a pool producer,” said a member of the press traveling with the Trump campaign, Politico reported. “Due to the fact we were not granted editorial access, as is customary, that decision was made and the footage was erased.”

ABC News’s Candace Smith, the pool producer for Friday, tweeted, “As the designated pool producer; attempted to go on pooled tour, as is customary. Was physically restrained from accompanying the camera.”

Moments later, Ms. Smith softened her language a bit: “Blocked is perhaps better term. Tried to go through the door, was gently pushed back as door was closed.”

All the same, Ms. Smith added, “this is all irrelevant. The fact is Trump didn’t allow the official pool to go with him, successfully avoiding answering any questions.”

Fox News Washington bureau chief Bryan Boughton told Politico in a statement that the television pool members chose not to participate in the hotel tour “because our editorial team member was barred from going on the tour with a videographer.”

“The TV pool traditionally doesn’t participate in events that our reporters or producers are not allowed to attend,” he said.

The Trump campaign has not yet replied to Politico’s request for comment, although campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson tweeted that Ms. Smith’s account of being physically restrained “did NOT HAPPEN!”

Located in the historic Old Post Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue blocks from the White House, the new Trump International Hotel is slated for an October grand opening but had a soft launch Monday, according to NBC’s local Washington affiliate.

• Ken Shepherd can be reached at kshepherd@washingtontimes.com.

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