White House reporters: Trump, Clinton are threats to free press
The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) is "alarmed by the treatment of the press" in this year's presidential election, leaders wrote in an op-ed Thursday.
"There is no debate that a free press with broad access to our elected officials, as guaranteed by the First Amendment, is a cornerstone of our democracy," they said in a piece published by USA Today.
"The public’s right to know is infringed if certain reporters are banned from a candidate's events because the candidate doesn’t like a story they have written or broadcast, as Donald Trump has done," Lee and Mason added.
Clinton was also criticized by the organization for her lack of press conferences. She held her last open press conference in early December.
"Similarly, refusing to regularly answer questions from reporters in a press conference, as Hillary Clinton has, deprives the American people of hearing from their potential commander-in-chief in a format that is critical to ensuring he or she is accountable for policy positions and official acts,” they wrote.
The letter said a president cannot cherry-pick reporters and punish those they dislike.
"That’s why we are concerned both with the rhetoric directed at the media in this campaign and the level of press access to the candidates. Both Clinton and Trump can do better," they concluded.