BANNED: White House bars several media outlets from West Wing press gaggle

White House press secretary Sean Spicer
EDITOR'S NOTE: Banning these media outlets was a very bad and petty move by the Trump administration. This was a very unusual breach of relations and trust between the Trump administration and White House press corps.

On Friday, reporters from several media outlets that are members of the White House press corps, including the New York Times, CNN, Politico, Los Angeles Times, Politico and BuzzFeed were not allowed to attend a press gaggle in the West Wing office of the press secretary Sean Spicer.

The White House allowed only reporters from a handpicked group of media outlets to attend the press gaggle. Time magazine and the Associated Press who invited to met with Spicer, but did not attend in protest of the White House’s banning of the other news organizations.

"This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House. Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don't like. We'll keep reporting regardless," CNN said in a statement.

“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," Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, said.

The White House Correspondents’ Association, which represents the press corps, quickly condemed the actions by the Trump administration.

“The W.H.C.A. board is protesting strongly against how today’s gaggle is being handled by the White House. 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 association president, Jeff Mason, said in a statement.

Organizations allowed in included Breitbart News, One America News Network and the Washington Times. Reporters from ABC, CBS, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Fox News also attended the press gaggle.

White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said that “claims that outlets were excluded are not factual.”

“The pool was there, so various media mediums were represented,” Grisham wrote in an email.


Spicer said he chose not to have the usual White House press briefing on Friday so it would not interfere with President Donald Trump’s speech at CPAC.

“The president spoke today. As you know, we don't generally do, we haven't done briefings when the president's had a major event or an event with a world leader. We put it on the schedule yesterday that we were just going to gaggle, and I mean this is something that we talked about with the correspondents’ association, about making sure that we have daily contact with you guys.”

“You know, obviously the president gave a very powerful speech today and our job is to make sure that we're responsive to folks in the media. We're here all day. We've got a big staff and we want to make sure we answer your questions. We don't need to do everything on camera every day," Spicer said during the press gaggle.

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