Spicer on press in December: 'That is something that you can't ban'

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in December that press access is part of what separates democracy and dictatorship.

"There is a big difference between a campaign where it is a private venue using private funds, and a government entity," Spicer said in a panel discussion when asked about banning media organizations in the future.

"And I think we have a respect for the press when it comes to the government. That is something that you can't ban ... Conservative, liberal or otherwise, I think that's what makes democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship." 
ADVERTISEMENT

The White House on Friday, however, barred several media organizations from covering Spicer's off-camera question-and-answer session inside his West Wing office, which he held in lieu of a traditional briefing.

 
The organizations not permitted to attend the event included CNN, The New York Times, The Hill, Politico, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, BBC, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News.
 
The move followed Trump's harsh criticism of the media in recent weeks and his insistence that the administration is treated unfairly by "fake news" organizations.
 
"A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are — they are the enemy of the people," the president said during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday.