White House bans CNN reporter from Rose Garden event
The White House on Wednesday banned a CNN reporter from a press event in the Rose Garden for asking President Trump questions, according to a CNN report.
Kaitlan Collins, a White House reporter for CNN, was acting as the “pool reporter” for all networks during President Trump’s meeting with European Union commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday afternoon.
Collins reportedly asked the president questions about the day’s most talked-about stories, a typical move for a pool reporter.
She asked, “Did Michael Cohen betray you, Mr. President?” and repeated the question once, according to CNN. She then asked, “Mr. President, are you worried about what Michael Cohen is about to say to the prosecutors? Are you worried about what is on the other tapes, Mr. President?”
When Trump didn’t respond, Collins asked, “Why is Vladimir Putin not accepting your invitation, Mr. President?”
Trump ignored the questions and said, “Thank you very much, everybody” to the press pool.
After the event, Bill Shine, the newly minted White House deputy chief of staff for communications, called Collins into his office. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was also present, according to CNN.
The former Fox News executive and the press secretary then informed Collins that she was not invited to a press availability in the Rose Garden later in the afternoon because she asked questions that were “inappropriate” for the venue and for reportedly shouting the questions, according to the CNN report.
The CNN reporter said Shine and Huckabee told her the network was still invited to the Rose Garden event, but that she was not.
Sanders confirmed the ban in a statement to the White House press pool, saying that the White House expects more “respectful” behavior.
“At the conclusion of a press event in the Oval Office, a reporter shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so,” Sanders said.
“Subsequently, our staff informed her she was not welcome to participate in the next event, but made clear that any other journalist from her network could attend,” Sanders continued.
Sanders said the White House “support[s] a free press” but added that they expect “everyone be respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House.”
CNN in a statement on Wednesday slammed the move as “not indicative of a free and open press.”
“Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of day doesn’t mean the question isn’t relevant and shouldn’t be asked,” the network said. “This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better.”
Statement regarding CNN press access at today’s White House event. We demand better. pic.twitter.com/s4lSTcHVak
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) July 25, 2018
Fox News correspondent John Roberts on Wednesday evening shared CNN’s account on Twitter. Roberts came under fire earlier this month when he proceeded to ask Trump a question at a press conference after the president attacked CNN reporters.
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) July 25, 2018
Trump has long derided CNN as “fake news” at public events, and refused to answer a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta during his U.K. visit this month.
Updated at 7:40 p.m.