WASHINGTON: The White House barred CNN, New York Times, BBC,
The Los Angeles Times and other news organizations from attending
an informal press briefing on Friday.
It came hours after the President Donald Trump again attacked on the
media saying that ‘fake news’ was the enemy of the people.
The decision struck veteran White House journalists as unprecedented
in the modern era, and escalated tensions in the already fraught relationship
between the Trump administration and the press.
The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, BuzzFeed, the BBC and the Guardian were also among those excluded from the meeting, which was held in White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s office.
When reporters from these news organizations tried to enter Spicer’s office for the gaggle, they were told they could not attend because they were not on the list of attendees.
“This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House,” CNN said in a statement. “Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don’t like. We’ll keep reporting regardless.”
New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet wrote, “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.”