Kim Reynolds Refuses to Say If She Considers Journalists the “Enemy of the People”

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Amid criticism over her reduced access to reporters in recent weeks, embattled incumbent Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday refused to take a position on President Trump’s demonization of the news media, according to a report in the Des Moines Register.

Asked by a reporter if she agreed with Trump calling journalists “the enemy of the people” — which he has done repeatedly in the past, and did again Sunday morning on Twitter — the governor refused to take a stand.

“Listen, I have no problems dealing with the media asking questions,” Reynolds reportedly said. “I am not going to weigh in on what the president is saying. I am the governor of Iowa. I am very accessible. I pride myself on being accessible.”

In fact, she hasn’t been for the past several weeks, as Associated Press reporter Barbara Rodriguez and other observers have documented. In mid-July, Reynolds discontinued her weekly press conferences, an Iowa tradition started by the late former Gov. Robert Ray, who like Reynolds was a Republican, and continued by the governor’s predecessor, Terry Branstad. When Reynolds announced Susan Christensen as her nominee to fill a state Supreme Court seat last week, she took no questions from the press. And last week she also kicked reporters out of a meeting she held with farmers in southeast Iowa concerned about Trump’s escalating trade war with China that has already put hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Iowa farm profits in jeopardy with the Chinese government targeting soybeans and pork in retaliation.

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.