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


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 Gorka 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.

{mosads}“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 Grisham 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 Trump doesn’t like,” Ted Boutros, Karem’s attorney, said on Sunday during a CNN appearance.

Tags CNN News Donald Trump Sebastian Gorka Stephanie Grisham

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