White House Ramps Up War with Press
White House officials barred a number of news outlets from participating in a press briefing from Sean Spicer. CNN, The New York Times, BBC, the Daily News were not allowed to participate. Others, such as the conservative Breitbart and One America News Network were allowed in as were Fox News, ABC, NBC, CBS, and the standard rotating “pool.” Some reporters from outlets such as Time and the Associated Press refused to attend the briefing in protest.
White House Promises to do Something
Hours before President Donald Trump promised to “do something” about the “fake news” when presenting a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference. Spicer had also angrily scolded reporters this morning for recent coverage of the FBI’s reported investigation of ties between Russia and Trump’s team.
The planned daily press briefing was canceled. . Instead they chose to have an off-camera meeting, better known as a “gaggle,” in Spicer’s office. They chose those who would be allowed to participate. This unusual move led to howls from reporters. One by one they were waved away from entering Spicer’s office if they were on Trump’s list.
CNN and others gathered to ask for an explanation of who was being allowed inside. Stephanie Grisham, a White House spokeswoman, accused the reporters of “threatening” her when one reporter said that they would be filing stories about the issue. The White House Correspondent’s Association fired back at the White House’s decision.
Senior White House reporters said they’d never seen another presidential administration make such a move. However, Trump did the same thing during his campaign – he barred outlets he deemed hostile, such as the Washington Post from getting press credentials.
In his speech this morning he said, “I love the First Amendment. Nobody loves it more than me.”