Donald Trump White House bars CNN from press briefing

Remigio Civitarese
Febbraio 27, 2017

The Associated Press and Time magazine, although invited to the gaggle, refused the offer in protest of the treatment of their colleagues. But past administrations have not hand-selected outlets that can attend such sessions.

Trump had earlier in the day also written another tweet targeting news organisations that he disapproves of: CNN, NBC, New York Times "and many more". Back in December, he told Politico'sJake Sherman and Anna Palmer that the Trump White House would not take the authoritarian step of banning reporters.

"This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House", CNN said in a statement.

Some news organisations have levelled the accusation that the move is a tactic to contain reports that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus pressured the Federal Bureau of Investigation to quash stories of Trump campaign officials making contact with Russian intelligence organisations.

The White House Correspondents Association issued a statement condemning the decision. "Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest", he said.

Multiple media outlets were blocked from a White House media briefing Friday afternoon.

"They always bring up the First Amendment", Mr. Trump said to cheers.

Regarding so-called fake news, he said media "doesn't represent the people", citing his own election victory as proof: "Our victory was a win like nobody has ever seen before". "Nothing more than that", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

In a speech today at the Conservative Political Action Conference, he reiterated his view that the press is an "enemy of the American people".

During the briefing in question Spicer was asked about why certain outlets were not present.

The White House made the highly provocative move of barring major news outlets from a planned press briefing Friday, prompting protests from the media. The Journal says it would have joined the boycott if it had realized what was going on, the Washington Post reports. We strongly protest the exclusion of the New York Times and other free news organizations.

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