Several media outlets blocked from today's White House briefing
- Author: Julie Sanders Feb 25, 2017,
Feb 25, 2017, 8:11
She said that while President Obama and other presidents had allowed one-on-one access to some hand-picked reporters, but said that was different from "a Press Secretary not allowing specific news organizations access to a briefing meant for groups of journalists". He did not say why those particular news organisations were excluded, a decision which drew strong protests.
During the White House gaggle on Friday, Spicer told reporters that he believes the Trump administration has "shown an abundance of accessibility" to the press.
According to Buzzfeed White House correspondent Adrian Carrasquillo, Mr Spicer discussed a CNN article looking into reports the Federal Bureau of Investigation had refused a White House request to knock down recent stories about Mr Trump's relationship with Russian Federation.
Spicer's off-camera briefing, or "gaggle", replaced the usual televised daily news briefing in the White House briefing room. He also took specific shots at CNN, calling them the "Clinton News Network."
The Associated Press and TIME, who were both allowed to be included in the gaggle, declined to attend in protest of the White House's unprecedented banning of the other outlets.
Fox News joined a complaint regarding the gaggle from the chair of the five-network television pool.
Get free real-time news alerts from the White House Patch. "Had we known at the time, we would not have participated and we will not participate in such closed briefings in the future". Trump blacklisted multiple outlets from events during the campaign, including Washington Post, Buzzfeed and Univision.
Politico editor-in-chief John Harris said that "selectively excluding news organizations from White House briefings is misguided".
Reaction from the barred outlets and others was swift. "We have a respect for the press when it comes to the government", Spicer said, speaking of the incoming Trump administration. This White House does not seem to value an independent press. "The board will be discussing this further with White House staff".