President Donald Trump reportedly took a meeting with TMZ’s Harvey Levin last week.
The founder of the Los Angeles-based celebrity gossip site was invited to the White House to meet with the president sometime last week, according to a report by EntityMag.com. TMZ did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.
Levin had previously interviewed Trump last September for a one-hour Fox News Channel special titled “OBJECTified: Donald Trump.” The interview aired in November, shortly after Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
The news of the meeting was reported by Taryn Hillin of the media site Entity, who worked at TMZ until 2013.
Levin, a Hollywood lawyer, reporter and legal analyst, founded the celebrity news site TMZ in 2005. He also hosts “TMZ Live,” the website’s televised counterpart. Following the one-off special, Fox News gave Levin a 10-episode order for an “OBJECTified” series.
The meeting with Levin comes amid the Trump administration’s ongoing battle with the media, including personal tweets from the president labelling outlets including CNN, the New York Times and NBC News the “enemy of the American people.”
Last month, 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. Journalists from other outlets, including Time magazine and the Associated Press, boycotted the briefing to protest the exclusion.
The organizations shut out of the briefing were quick to denounce the action, calling it “unacceptable.” 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.”