According to CNN, multiple news organizations were blocked from entering an off-camera gaggle with Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Friday.
CNN, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and Politico were among the named outlets, CNN reports.
According to The New York Times, aides selected reporters who had previously confirmed to attend the off-camera discussion in Spicer’s West Wing office.
ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox News were invited and attended the meeting. The list also includes Breitbart News, The Washington Times and One America News Network.
Apparently, The Associated Press and Time magazine boycotted the meeting, frustrated by the way everything was handled.
The White House Correspondents Association released a statement saying they inherently disagreed with the situation:
“The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today’s gaggle is being handled by the White House,” it said in a statement. “We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff.”
The New York Times’ executive editor Dean Baquet also issued a statement, calling the action unprecedented:
“Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties. We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”
The action no doubt adds to a hotbed of issues between President Trump and the press.
Trump has not shied away about his disdain of “fake news,” and repeatedly accuses news outlets of reporting “alternative facts,” regarding his administration.
On Friday, Trump echoed a previous tweet, calling the media “the enemy of the people” during the annual CPAC meeting.
Stay tuned folks, this is probably just the beginning.
SOURCE: CNN, The New York Times
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