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New York Times reporter removed from Trump rally after showing people without masks

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 9/11/2020 Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press
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DETROIT — Kathleen Gray, a longtime political reporter for the Detroit Free Press who now works for the New York Times, said she was removed from President Donald Trump's Michigan rally on Thursday after tweeting that few in the crowd appeared to be wearing masks.

"First for me: Trump campaign tracked me down from pics i tweeted and escorted me out," Gray said in a post on Twitter. Earlier she had posted photos of the crowd and said "Maybe 10% have masks."

National media reported that Trump campaign officials said she was removed from the rally at MBS International Airport in Freeland because she did not have campaign-issued credentials and was working in the general audience area rather than in a designated press area.

a group of stuffed animals: President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the MBS International Airport in Freeland, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. © Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the MBS International Airport in Freeland, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020.

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Gray told Bridge Magazine that she had missed the deadline to get credentials but had tried multiple times to contact the campaign to get them after that and received no response.

She acknowledged that she entered the general admission section of the rally because she didn't have the campaign-issued media credentials.

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"They said because I was using my work Twitter account and since I didn't have media credentials I couldn't be working there, and I had to leave," Gray told Bridge.

Neither she nor Trump campaign officials immediately responded to requests for comment from the Free Press.

Gray's removal came shortly after she had been tweeting comments and photos that showed participants in the rally who were not wearing masks. Wearing a mask is required in Michigan in places where it is impossible to keep a social distance of 6 feet or greater in order to deter the spread of coronavirus.

Gray covered politics for the Free Press for nearly 20 years before leaving earlier this year. Earlier in the week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told CNN it was "very distressing" that Trump might come to the state and encourage people, directly or indirectly, to not wear masks.

Trump did not wear a mask at the rally.

Follow Todd Spangler on Twitter @tsspangler

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: New York Times reporter removed from Trump rally after showing people without masks

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