Trump had repeatedly asked aides to ban reporters before barring CNN journalist from press event: report

President Trump has reportedly spoken to White House officials on numerous occasions in recent months about banning reporters from White House press briefings.

The Washington Post reported Friday that Trump, angered by what he believes to be disrespectful behavior from journalists toward his administration, has spoken to aides about blacklisting CNN’s Jim Acosta and American Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan, who is also a CNN contributor.

White House aides had reportedly resisted Trump’s requests until Bill Shine, Trump’s new deputy chief of staff, and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders barred CNN’s Kaitlan Collins from a press event Wednesday.

According to the Post, officials feared it would damage the president’s already fraught relationship with the press.


“Is there nothing that we could do?” Trump has vented to aides, an unnamed former White House official told the Post.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill on the Post’s report.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Trump’s relationship with the media on Thursday, stating that the president and his officials are not “afraid” of questions.

“This president obviously isn’t afraid of questions,” Conway told reporters. “We answer them routinely.” 

Trump, she explained, objects to “the shouting and the pouting long after the press corps has been politely asked to leave the room.”

The White House accused Collins of shouting questions to Trump during a meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

CNN condemned the White House’s decision in a statement on Wednesday, saying it was “not indicative of a free and open press.” 

“Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of day doesn’t mean the question isn’t relevant and shouldn’t be asked,” the network said. “This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better.” 

Tags April Ryan Bill Shine CNN Donald Trump Jim Acosta Kaitlan Collins Kellyanne Conway press briefings Sarah Huckabee Sanders White House
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