Playboy correspondent suing White House for suspending press pass: 'I am provocative, and I am a smart aleck'

Playboy correspondent suing White House for suspending press pass: 'I am provocative, and I am a smart aleck'
© Getty

Playboy correspondent Brian Karem, who is suing the White House for suspending his press pass, said Sunday that he is “provocative,” but argued that Trump administration officials had no reason to suspend his credentials.

CNN's Brian Stelter questioned Karem about his involvement in an argument with former White House advisor Sebastian GorkaSebastian Lukacs GorkaCORRECTED: Cruz scolds reporter who brought up his daughters Trump wants To 'deescalate,' but will his supporters let him? Conservative radio show canceled after host wishes for 'nice school shooting' as impeachment distraction MORE in the Rose Garden this summer, saying on "Reliable Sources" that Karem’s conduct seemed like “unprofessional.”

“You cannot sanction actions by one and then make okay the actions of the other,” Karem, who is also a CNN political analyst, responded, saying that he "made a joke that got a laugh” in the leadup to his confrontation with Gorka.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I am provocative, and I am a smart-aleck, but I’m not going to apologize for that. That’s okay, under the First Amendment. There have been far worse altercations [that] occurred in the Rose Garden by members of the press,” Karem added.

White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamOAN says it will attend briefing as White House guest after violating social distancing rules UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus White House press secretary to return to work after negative virus test MORE announced in August that Karem’s hard pass would be suspended through Sept. 14.

“In my judgment, a permanent revocation would be too great a punishment for the conduct involved here,” Grisham wrote at the time. “Taking no action, on the other hand, would be insufficient to deter Mr. Karem and other members of the press from disrupting White House events.”

"The White House press secretary’s arbitrary decision to suspend Brian Karem’s hard pass press credential violates the First Amendment and due process and is yet another example of this administration’s unconstitutional campaign to punish reporters and press coverage that President TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE doesn’t like," Ted Boutros, Karem’s attorney, said on Sunday during a CNN appearance.