Panel tables Breitbart request for congressional press passes

Panel tables Breitbart request for congressional press passes

A panel of journalists voted Tuesday morning to table a request from Breitbart News for permanent congressional press passes, according to multiple reports.

The Standing Committee of Correspondents, made up up five reporters from traditional media outlets, also put off a vote to extend the right-leaning site's temporary passes, which expire on May 31.

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The panel reportedly expressed concerns about “more than one troubling aspect” in the information Breitbart provided. It had previously questioned the news outlet's connections to conservative donors and organizations.

“The whole thing suggest to me that they’re just not ready for a credential” one panel member said, according to Politico's Hadas Gold. 

BuzzFeed and The Daily Beast reported last month that the committee denied Breitbart permanent congressional press passes for the time being. 

Breitbart at the time called coverage of that development a “smear” campaign, saying its application was still under evaluation.

The panel had reportedly asked Breitbart CEO Larry Solov in February to clarify White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon's involvement in the news site. Bannon previously served as as Breitbart's executive chairman.

Solov wrote at the time that Bannon “has no editorial, executive, financial or other role or interest” in the news company. 

The panel also questioned Breitbart’s ties to Rebekah Mercer, a GOP donor and Trump transition team executive, as well as links to the Government Accountability Institute, a conservative nonprofit co-founded by Bannon that also received investments from the Mercer family.