In April, President Trump said the "fake news media" are falsely reporting on his NAFTA negotiations, and complimented Fox News's reporting. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

There is nothing subtle about President Trump's latest tweet about the media. The president made explicitly clear on Wednesday that his definition of “fake” news is “negative” and wondered, “Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?”

The implication is that the White House will restrict press access if journalists do not cover Trump more favorably. The tweet is a naked attempt at punishment, something Trump has tried before.

Trump denied press credentials to various news outlets, including The Washington Post, during the 2016 campaign but did not accomplish much. Reporters could still attend and cover Trump's rallies; they just had to stand in line with the general public. Trump ultimately tore up his media blacklist.

Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post.

Posted by Donald J. Trump on Monday, June 13, 2016

More disruptive was Trump's refusal to allow journalists to travel aboard his campaign plane. He frustrated reporters in September 2016 when he scheduled a last-minute trip to Mexico to meet with its president, Enrique Peña Nieto, and sent his press plane to Phoenix, where he would deliver an immigration speech later in the day.

Two weeks later, Trump told a crowd in New Hampshire that he had “really good news.”

“I just heard that the press is stuck on their airplane,” Trump said in Laconia. “They can't get here. I love it. So they're trying to get here now. They're going to be about 30 minutes late. They called us and said, 'Could you wait?' I said absolutely not. Let's get going. Right?”

Rallygoers cheered.

Since his election, Trump has toyed with various means of curbing media access, ostensibly to remind journalists that they are, to some extent, at his mercy.

During his transition into office, Trump repeatedly ditched the pool of reporters that traditionally follows a president or president-elect almost everywhere. He also considered kicking reporters out of the White House briefing room and workspace and moving them next door to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Trump told Fox News before his inauguration that the White House briefing room “is too small. So we said we're going to move it to a larger room in a nearby area, but not the same area, and the press went crazy, so I said let's not move it.”

When Sean Spicer served as White House press secretary, he frequently held briefings off camera and even forbade live audio broadcasts of his question-and-answer sessions with reporters.

Around this time last year, Trump floated the idea of scrapping briefings altogether.

In his brief tenure as White House communications director last summer, Anthony Scaramucci reestablished consistent, on-camera media briefings, which have continued. But according to CNN White House reporter Kaitlan Collins, Trump often contemplates yanking press credentials.

Fox News host Sean Hannity, an informal Trump adviser, has publicly questioned the need to keep reporters in the White House and endorsed the idea of banning certain outlets such as The Post and the New York Times.

Trump has a mixed record of following through on threats against the media, but his apparent aim is to make journalists so nervous about access that they will ease up when covering him.