In a move that reeks of desperation, Fox News has made the decision to ban surrogates for President Trump from the “spin room” after the first Republican primary debate.
According to a memo obtained by The Hill on Tuesday, Fox News informed Republican campaigns that only surrogates representing candidates participating in the debate would be granted automatic credentials for the post-debate “spin room.” This means that Trump and candidates who didn’t meet the criteria for the debate stage wouldn’t have immediate access to the media area.
The memo doesn’t outright prevent Trump’s supporters from attending the debate or the spin room. Instead, it specifies that individuals might attend as guests of other news organizations.
CNN correspondent Alayna Treene shared on X:
Deleted a previous tweet to clarify my reporting: Fox News, which is hosting the first GOP primary debate, informed the Trump campaign on Monday they will no longer provide credentials to some Trump surrogates to attend the spin room given Trump is not planning on participating.
Several Trump advisers & top surrogates had been planning to attend both the debate & represent the former president in the spin room despite his absence Some of Trump’s surrogates are credentialed through outside media groups and will not be impacted.
Members of Trump’s campaign, including his senior advisers, were also planning on being in the spin room. But Fox News is in charge of credentials for the spin room. The RNC manages credentials for the actual debate, and sources said those tickets are still expected be honored.
Members of Trump’s teams and his surrogates, however, are still planning on traveling to Milwaukee and are working on a resolution with the network as well as the RNC, two Trump advisers told CNN.
The former president’s aides also believe they will be able to find new credentials, one of the advisers said, and say they are confident they will be in the spin room on Wednesday.
According to The Hill, Donald Trump Jr., President Trump’s eldest son, has officially announced his plans to travel to Milwaukee for the debate.
The post-debate spin room has long held significant importance, acting as a platform where campaign surrogates, journalists, and analysts gather to offer immediate analysis and present perspectives on the candidates’ performances. It serves as a chance for campaigns to shape the narrative, uphold their candidate’s stances, and counter any adverse media coverage stemming from the debate.
The omission of Trump’s surrogates from the spin room raises inquiries regarding the fairness of the media coverage surrounding the debate.
When the subject of conversation revolves around Trump, and we all know it will, his surrogates have a right to be present in the room.
The first GOP debate is set for Wednesday evening at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee and will be hosted by the Fox News Channel. The second debate is set for September 27 at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, and will be hosted by the Fox Business Network.
Although Trump didn’t officially confirm an interview with Tucker Carlson to counter Wednesday’s debate, ABC News reported that he has already recorded an interview as counter-programming.