White House on banning CNN reporter from event: ‘We support a free press’

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The White House on Wednesday pushed back on reports that it banned CNN from a press event, saying it supports “a free press.”

According to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House banned a specific reporter because it expects “everyone to be respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House.”

“At the conclusion of a press event in the Oval Office a reporter shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so,” Sanders said in a statement.

“Subsequently, our staff informed her she was not welcome to participate in the next event, but made clear that any other journalist from her network could attend,” Sanders continued.

Sanders’s statement seeks to clarify reports that Kaitlan Collins, a White House reporter for CNN, was banned from a press event in the Rose Garden on Wednesday after asking Trump questions during his earlier meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

{mosads}During the gathering, the journalist reportedly asked Trump about Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as the president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, CNN reported.

After the event, CNN said that Bill Shine, the White House’s new deputy chief of staff for communications and a former Fox News official, called Collins into his office. Sanders was also reportedly present.

The officials reportedly informed Collins that she was not invited to a press availability in the Rose Garden later on Wednesday because she asked questions that were “inappropriate” for the venue and for reportedly shouting the questions, according to the CNN report. 

Collins told CNN that she was told, “We’re not banning your network. Your photographers can still come. Your producers can still come. But you are not invited to the Rose Garden today.”

“She said it didn’t matter to her because she hadn’t planned to be there anyway,” Sanders said of the incident. 

Collins has not yet responded to Sanders.

Tags CNN Donald Trump sarah huckabee sanders White House

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