OAN says it will attend briefing as White House guest after violating social distancing rules

A correspondent for the conservative One America News Network (OAN) said Thursday she will attend the day's press briefing as the guest of press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamIvana Trump on Melania as first lady: 'She's very quiet, and she really doesn't go to too many places' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump uses White House as campaign backdrop Coronavirus tests not required for all Melania Trump speech attendees: report MORE, one day after the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) removed the outlet from the rotation for repeated violations of guidelines meant to guard against the coronavirus.

"I spoke with Stephanie Grisham this morning," Chanel Rion said on an OAN broadcast.

"I met with her, we discussed the situation and she invited me again to attend the briefing today as her guest, standing in the back."


Grisham did not respond to requests for comment about Rion's comments.

WHCA President Jonathan Karl said in a statement that there is no room for reporters without an assigned seat on any given day to attend in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.

"If somebody is to be a guest of the White House, they should be sitting in the seats to the side which are set aside for White House staff," he said.

Rion stood in the back of the White House briefing room during press events on Tuesday and Wednesday. In doing so, she violated rules established by the WHCA to limit reporters in the room only to those with an assigned seat for the day in an effort to promote social distancing and limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Trump has called on OAN for questions repeatedly at daily briefings. Rion last month asked Trump if he felt the term "Chinese food" was racist in an apparent defense of his use of the term "Chinese virus" before accusing media outlets in the room of pushing Chinese narratives.

The WHCA board voted Tuesday night to remove OAN from the pool of outlets that rotate into one of the designated seats in the room.


"We did this because a reporter for this outlet twice attended press briefings in contravention of this policy," the board said in a statement. "We do not take this action lightly. This is a matter of public safety."

The WHCA asked reporters in March not to attend White House press briefings if they do not have an assigned seat. The association has limited seating in the briefing room to 14 outlets per day, with a few photographers also allowed to be in the room.

The measures were established to improve social distancing and limit the number of people in the room as health experts rolled out new practices meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus.