Breitbart: Reporting on press credentials an ‘effort to smear’ the site

Greg Nash
Breitbart News lashed out at a report from The Daily Beast that it was denied a permanent Senate press pass, saying that the coverage was an effort to “smear” the publication. 
“In yet another effort to smear Breitbart News, the Daily Beast rushed out an inaccurate headline about our standing with the Senate Press Gallery,” Breitbart News Network Spokesman Chad Wilkinson said in a statement to The Hill Monday.
“They falsely claimed that our application for a permanent membership was denied.  In fact, the committee took no position either way and simply asked for additional information. 
“In the meantime, it has extended our temporary passes.”
{mosads}BuzzFeed and The Daily Beast reported Monday that the alt-right, populist online outlet was denied permanent congressional press passes by the U.S. Senate Daily Press Gallery until it can provide more information about ties to conservative donors and organizations.
Both outlets did note that Breitbart would continue to receive temporary passes until the committee makes a final decision next month. BuzzFeed’s article was titled “Breitbart Has Been Denied Permanent Congressional Press Passes — For Now,” while The Daily Beast’s headline read, “Breitbart Denied Capitol Hill Permanent Press Credentials.” 
Asked to comment, The Daily Beast referred The Hill to its original story.

In November of 2016, Breitbart News co-founder, president and CEO Larry Solov requested permanent press credentials. He said that Executive Chairman Steve Bannon, named a top strategist to President Trump, had resigned from the news site.
Solov wrote Bannon “has no editorial, executive, financial or other role or interest” in Breitbart News. 
But the committee stated that other than “us trusting Larry,” there wasn’t any tangible evidence that Bannon had severed all ties, according to the Daily Beast report. 
There are still questions about the site’s connections to Rebekah Mercer, a Republican mega-donor and Trump transition team executive, and the conservative nonprofit Government Accountability Institute (GAI), which was co-founded by Bannon and received investments from the Mercer family.

The press committee, which comprises five reporters from traditional media outlets, also requested further clarification on whether Mercer has played a role in making editorial decisions at Bretibart. 

Mercer’s father in Robert Mercer, a hedge-fund billionaire who reportedly invested $10 million in Breitbart News back in 2011. 
The committee will meet on April 25 to consider Breitbart’s press pass status. 
–This report was updated on March 28 at 8:18 a.m.

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