Administration

Pentagon reporters annoyed with decreased access to Mattis: report

Reporters covering the Pentagon are reportedly growing annoyed with the lack of access they have to Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Politico reported journalists are also frustrated with the decrease in the number of reporters that can go on official trips.

“This is the worst relationship I’ve seen,” one Pentagon reporter, who covered the Department of Defense during former President Obama’s administration, told Politico.

{mosads}An administration official also said that there is a “growing perception by Secretary Mattis that the media is trying to pit him against the president and deliberately misinterpret the things that he says.”

Reporters became frustrated in August after several were told at the last minute that they could no longer go on a Middle East trip. 

But a Pentagon press secretary emphasized that she thinks there is a healthy relationship between reporters and officials.

“I think that there is always a natural tension between us, but I think there are some really great reporters here,” Pentagon press secretary Dana White told Politico. 

“They have unfettered access to our 25 press officers. We’ve had 118 press engagements with transcripts. They have unfettered access to me. I get phone calls all the time and emails. I think it’s a very healthy, good relationship.”

President Trump and his aides often go after the press, referring to networks or stories as “fake news.” He frequently rails on members of the media, calling them dishonest and biased.

A reporter told Politico the “press corps’ fear is it’s a slippery slope” and worry press access will continue to get worse.

Tags James Mattis

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