LACONIA, N.H. — Donald Trump has made no secret of his distaste for the mainstream news media, but Thursday was the first time he ever started a speech without them.
Until recently, his campaign actively enforced a blacklist of various news outlets after their stories upset him. And he is the only presidential or vice presidential candidate of the modern era to not fly on the same plane as his traveling press.
On Thursday night in New Hampshire, Trump began his rally without dedicated reporters present — then he laughed about it.
"I have really good news for you," Trump said immediately upon taking the stage. "I just heard that the press is stuck on their airplane. They can’t get here. I love it.
"So they’re trying to get here now. They’re gonna be about 30 minutes late," he continued. "They called us and said, ‘Could you wait?’ I said ‘Absolutely not.’ Let’s get going right? Let’s get going, New Hampshire."
The crowd looked back toward the riser with laughter and gleeful expressions, according to reporters who do not travel with the campaign on a campaign-run and organized charter.
The Trump campaign did not respond to NBC News request for comment.
Trump again misrepresented the situation, as he is known to do, because the traveling press was not "stuck."
After covering his appearance on NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," which was taped in the late afternoon, the campaign-organized charter flew out of a different airport than Trump.
The candidate traveled to the airport with his motorcade and landed earlier than the traveling press in Laconia.
By the time the press landed, drove to the rally, and were swept by Secret Service, it was 8:33 p.m.
Trump wrapped his speech at 8:35 p.m.
Reporters arrived just in time to hear Trump’s signature sign off riff about making America safe, strong, and great again. He made no mention of their entrance.
While there is a tension between not wanting to make voters wait and holding off stage for press to arrive, Trump is often late to his own rallies and starting late would not have been unprecedented. It is, however, near-unprecedented for presidential candidate to start without their traveling press.
In fact, past candidates have waited for press out of deference and respect.
Furthermore, almost all presidential candidates in past cycles have agreed to a protective pool that travels with the candidate to all stops. The Trump campaign has bucked this tradition, opting only for pooled press at events that they deem worthy.
The same can be said for the Clinton campaign, though their candidate now travels on the same plane as press and has begun giving relatively frequent media briefings and press conferences.
The behavior Thursday solidifies an already well-worn narrative of Trump: hatred of the press. The Republican nominee has been known throughout his candidacy for inciting the crowd against the press. He has specifically singled out reporters at events and online, subjecting them to harassment from his fans.
At one rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he said of the "hated" press corps: 'I would never kill them. I would never do that.” Then he took a moment to reconsider, saying, "Uh, let’s see, uh ... no, I would never do that.”
Those December 2015 comments came after Trump heaped praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has himself been accused of oppressing journalists.