Trump Escalates War on Media: CNN, NY Times, Politico Blocked From White House Press Briefing

CNN calls the move an “unacceptable development by the Trump White House”

President Donald Trump solo news conference
(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The New York Times and CNN were quick to denounced the exclusion of their reporters from Friday’s White House

Reporters from CNN, the New York Times, Politico and a variety of other major news organizations were blocked from attending the White House press briefing on Friday, TheWrap has learned.

The White House did not provide an explanation for the exclusion from the untelevised briefing, according to CNN.

Journalists from other outlets, including Time magazine and the Associated Press, boycotted the briefing to protest the exclusion of other media, according to the New York Times’ Peter Baker in a tweet.

New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush listed Breitbart, Fox News, Washington Times, Wall Street Journal, CBS, NBC, ABC and Bloomberg as news organizations that were allowed inside.

The organizations shut out of the briefing were quick to denounce the action. “This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House. Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don’t like,” CNN said in a statement. “We’ll keep reporting regardless.”

New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet 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.”

The aggressive move comes just hours after President Donald Trump addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference and spent 13 minutes of his 48-minute speech denouncing the “dishonest” media. “They are the worst,” he said.

Friday’s off-camera briefing is not the same type of daily press briefing provided by Press Secretary Sean Spicer on a regular basis.

It is not unusual to skip the televised briefing on days that the president delivers a speech, which Trump did on Friday at CPAC. White House Correspondents’ Association president Jeff Mason said on CNN that people shouldn’t “rush to conclusions” about how this happened.

“There is some precedent for doing briefings just to a pool,” Mason told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, referring to a smaller circle of “pool” journalists who then share their reporting with the rest of the White House press corps. “On Air Force One, for example, there is a pool on the plane that is briefed… and then that information is shared.”

Mason continued: “In this case, because it is at the White House and it’s on a working day where many other people in the press pool are available, we encourage them to make any kind of briefing they have, be it what we call a gaggle or a regular televised briefing, to be open to the full press core.”

“A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are. They are the enemy of the people because they have no sources, they just make them up when there are none,” Trump said.