Playboy plans to appeal after reporter says his White House credentials were suspended

Playboy said late Friday that it would appeal a White House decision to suspend reporter Brian Karem’s press pass after he said he was suspended for 30 days, with the magazine suggesting the move violated the First Amendment.

Karem, who covers the White House for the magazine and is also a CNN contributor, tweeted Friday that he had received an email that his press pass used to enter the White House grounds would be suspended for 30 days starting Monday.

“I can and will appeal this decision,” he followed up later in the day.

“Suspension of credentialed press by the government is incredibly concerning. We are working with our lawyers to appeal the decision to suspend @briankarem,” Playboy tweeted in response to the incident, adding that it would fight “to protect First Amendment rights.”

Karem said the suspension stems from a heated exchange he had with former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka in the Rose Garden last month. 

{mosads}The White House said that Karem “failed to abide by basic norms of decorum and order” during the event, Karem told The Washington Post, adding that Karem had been rude to “a guest of the president.”

However, Karem maintains that his suspension is a retaliatory move by the White House in response to his “tough” questioning.

“They’re claiming [the reason is] something that happened 21 days ago. I’m there every day. If this was an issue, it should’ve been brought to my attention long before now,” Karem told The Post. “I know what they say the issue is, but that’s not the real issue, or they could’ve talked to me at any point in time prior to now. As a matter of record, they never spoke to me once about it.”

The White House did not provide a comment for The Hill.

Karem, known for his criticism of the White House, gained national headlines 2017 when he tangled with then-White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders when she blasted the media for coverage of what she called the “Trump-Russia hoax.”

“Any one of us, if we don’t get it right, the audience has the opportunity to turn the channel or not read us, but you have been elected to serve for four years at least. There’s no option other than that,” Karem said at the time. “We’re here to ask you questions. You’re here to provide the answers. And what you just did is inflammatory to people all over the country who look at it and say, ‘See, once again, the president is right, and everybody else out here is fake media.’ And everybody in this room is only trying to do their job.”

The White House revoked CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass in November after he had a heated exchange with Trump, leading to a lawsuit from the network and a judge deciding to restore the credentials about a week later. The incident sparked widespread criticism over what many said was unjust retaliation over coverage the administration found unflattering

Tags Jim Acosta Sarah Huckabee sarah huckabee sanders Sebastian Gorka
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