White House Press Slams Invite-Only Briefing

The White House excluded some outlets that have provided critical coverage like CNN and the New York Times from an off-camera event that replaced the traditional on-camera daily briefing.

A number of high profile news organisations have been banned from the White House press briefing.

On Thursday, CNN reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation refused a request from the White House to knock down recent reports that President Donald Trump's campaign had been in contact with Russians known to U.S. intelligence.

Some outlets historically friendly to President Trump including Breitbart, Fox News and the Washington Times were included.

Trump has long called the media "crooked" and "dishonest", among other negative adjectives, and the president echoed that sentiment Friday during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland. There, Mr. Trump accused news news outlets of making up source for damaging reports about his White House.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer answers questions during the daily press briefing at the White House February 22, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Associated Press director of media relations, Lauren Easton, explained why the AP chose not to participate in the briefing without colleagues from other outlets.

In what some are calling a highly unusual breach of relations the White House on Friday barred three news organizations from attending a briefing by President Trump's Press Secretary Friday. The White House Correspondents' Association released a statement saying they are "protesting strongly" against the decision.

New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet also strongly reprimanded the White House's latest antics.

A White House communications official denied that the publications had been blocked.

White House reporters have reacted with shock and anger at the move, with some comparing the move to anti-democratic authoritarian regimes. "We'll keep reporting regardless".

Tapper was quick to note that just two months ago, Spicer said in a panel discussion that open access for the media is "what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship".

  • Larry Hoffman