Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden's 2020 campaign kicked reporters off the question-and-answer portion a Thursday evening fundraising call after five minutes of opening remarks.

Why it matters: It's an unusual move for Biden's campaign, which has typically been transparent and allowed reporters to cover its fundraising events in their entirety. The campaign indicated that press restrictions would be implemented looking ahead.

What they're saying: NBC's Marianna Sotomayor wrote in a dispatch that she was ejected "when Biden said he was ready to take questions from any of the 25 donors present," per pool reports.

  • Sotomayor added: "...reporters heard Biden over the phone, not through Zoom as has been common practice in the virtual campaign era."
  • Rufus Gifford, Biden's deputy campaign manager, wrote in a statement: "Tonight's event was a new format as we enter a new phase of the general election campaign."

Of note: Trump typically does not permit press to participate in his fundraising events.

The state of play: Biden's call with Wall Street donors began by focusing on Trump's coronavirus preparedness and response.

  • "You know when Trump ran in 2016, he promised to stand up for the ‘forgotten man.’ As soon as he got elected he sure as hell forgot them quick enough," Biden said.
  • "Now we’re seeing the telltale signs of Trump-o-nomics in a way that he’s implemented this stimulus. No strings, no oversight, no [inspector general], no accountability and is setting up what I would call a corrupt recovery."

Go deeper

Trump tries to set a tax trap for Biden

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump is trying to lure Joe Biden into a Walter Mondale trap — attempting to force the Democratic nominee to embrace middle-class tax increases as part of his election strategy.

Why it matters: With his Saturday evening executive action to unilaterally rewrite the tax code, Trump again is demonstrating the lengths to which he’ll go to change the conversation — and try to make the election a choice between him and Biden, and not a referendum on him.

Scoop: Inside Trump's debate prep

Trump and Christie. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Two weekends ago, President Trump met with a group of his closest aides in the conference room of his Bedminster golf club to discuss a subject that has been weighing heavily on his mind: the three scheduled debates with Joe Biden.

Behind the scenes: In the room with Trump were his son-in-law Jared Kushner, campaign manager Bill Stepien, senior adviser Jason Miller, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who role-played Hillary Clinton in Trump's 2016 debate prep sessions.

Aug 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump trounces Biden in campaign site traffic, thanks to far-right outlets

Data: SimilarWeb; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Traffic to President Trump's presidential campaign website is more than 4x greater than traffic to Joe Biden's presidential campaign website, thanks in large part to traffic referrals from right-wing outlets like The Gateway Pundit and Citizen Free Press, according to data from SimilarWeb.

Why it matters: The data speaks to the enormous role the far-right web plays in promoting the president's ideas and his re-election campaign.