Indiana Reporter Barred From Donald Trump’s Carrier Event

Journalist Rafael Sanchez says it wasn't the president-elect team's decision. Apparently it came from the company he has doggedly covered.
Reporter Rafael Sanchez was denied access to cover Donald Trump's visit to the Carrier factory in Indianapolis.
Reporter Rafael Sanchez was denied access to cover Donald Trump's visit to the Carrier factory in Indianapolis.

When President-elect Donald Trump visited a Carrier Corp. factory in Indianapolis on Thursday that won’t be closing following his intervention, a journalist who had deeply investigated the company’s plans to move jobs to Mexico wasn’t permitted inside.

The decision appears to have been made by Carrier and not the Trump team, which had regularly denied press credentials to news outlets during the presidential campaign. 

Rafael Sanchez, the chief investigator at ABC affiliate RTV6 in Indianapolis, told The Huffington Post that he applied for credentials through Trump’s site and received an email Thursday morning that his request had been denied. Sanchez said he was surprised because he’d covered Trump’s rallies in the state and the Republican convention in Cleveland.

When Sanchez approached the Trump team, he said he was told to contact Carrier, who, as of Thursday evening, had not responded to his request. A Pence spokesman told Sanchez’s station that the Trump-Pence team hadn’t denied his access, which suggests someone at Carrier did. 

A Carrier spokeswoman did not respond to The Huffington Post’s request about why Sanchez was denied access. 

Sanchez has doggedly covered the decision by Carrier to send 1,400 jobs to Mexico, about half of which will now be staying in Indiana.

This year, he’s spoken to dozens of workers and traveled to Monterrey, Mexico, to highlight how the company planned to pay workers there around $3 an hour. RTV6 produced a multi-part series on the expected move. 

Sanchez has clearly been aggressive over the past 10 months, including asking a top executive visiting the statehouse if he’d work for $3 an hour. But Sanchez told HuffPost that he’s always been upfront with Carrier on what he’s reporting and even informed them of his trip to Monterrey. 

“At no step in this journey has there been any surprises,” he said. 

In reporting on Carrier’s workers, Sanchez said he wasn’t looking for a “bash session” against the company but wanted to get their personal stories. “They were very honest about their lives,” he said. 

Sanchez indicated in a video statement Thursday that he’ll continue covering the company as he’s done. 

“I’m not angry. I’m not bothered,” Sanchez said on the video. “But I am committed today, and every day, to do my job. And if they don’t let me inside, that’s OK, I will still do my job.”