Tri-State Defender denied access to Trump rally in Millington

Tri-State Defender denied access to Trump rally in Millington
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - When Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump made a trip to Millington; he was greeted by not only thousands of supporters, but a host of media outlets as well.

The Tri-State Defender wanted access to the Trump rally like other media outlets. However, they said a controversial talk show host got in, but they were denied.

The African-American oriented Tri-State Defender newspaper was not among the dozens of other media organizations covering the event.

"It's hard for me to think that it was not intentional, rather than being an oversight," Tri-State Defender Publisher Bernal Smith said.

Smith said he applied for credentials twice in the week prior to the event.

"Everybody who applied for credentials got through is their quote. That's simply not true," Smith said.

Online radio host James Edwards, who promotes so-called "pro-white" according to his website, got in.

"There's a lot of inconsistencies coming out of that campaign," Smith said.

Smith was also concerned by recently publicized video of African-American protesters being forcibly removed from a Trump event in Georgia.

Smith said all he wanted to was simply cover the candidate who claims he'll make America great again.

"You know, that's not the way to win the presidency and certainly not the way to run the country," Smith said.

We have not heard back from the Trump campaign, but a spokesperson told, "The campaign provided media credentials to everyone that requested access to the event on Saturday in Memphis. There were close to 200 reporters in attendance and we do not personally vet each individual."

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