Donald Trump has had a contentious relationship with the press, to say the least. But two journalist groups who were recently snubbed by the GOP presidential nominee seem willing to give him one more chance.
The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) have extended a second invitation to Trump to speak in front of the two organizations. The two groups invited Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to speak during their joint convention last week. Clinton accepted, but Trump declined. However, the groups have reached out again in the interest of bipartisanship.
"Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the NABJ/NAHJ joint convention on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016 in Washington, D.C. Some members of the audience applauded during Clinton's responses. This is no reflection of our journalistic values, which include being non-partisan and objective," read a statement released Monday night.
The statement explained that those cheering some of Clinton's responses were general audience members, not actual members of the NABJ or NAHJ.
"The members of NABJ and NAHJ, many of whom work in newsrooms throughout the country, know the importance of journalistic integrity and impartiality, especially while covering political campaigns," the statement continued. "We renew our invitation to Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump to address our members. While the Trump Campaign declined NABJ and NAHJ's initial request to address convention-goers at our historic joint convention Aug. 3-7, NABJ and NAHJ stand ready to arrange a press conference before members of both organizations within 60 days."
Clinton admonished Trump in her speech to the groups, denouncing many of his statements as racist and calling on the press to put him under more scrutiny.
"He talks about curtailing press freedom as well. We need to stand up as a country and say, 'Donald Trump doesn’t represent who are and what we believe,'" she said.
Meanwhile, Trump has not yet responded to the second invitation. His campaign declined the initial invitation despite the opportunity to speak directly to black and Hispanic journalists who could help soften his image to minority voters currently supporting Clinton by wide margins. At the same time, the move is in line with Trump's hostile attitude toward the press. While he has received an estimated $2 billion in free press thanks to broadcast news' penchant for covering his rallies and speeches, the businessman continues to criticize and feud with journalists and promise to curtail the free press.
"If I win I’m gonna open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re gonna open up those libel laws," Trump said in February. "With me, they’re not protected, because I’m not like other people."