White House says it hasn't told agencies to stop tweeting

White House says it hasn't told agencies to stop tweeting
© Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday denied it has directed federal agencies to stop using social media, saying new restrictions on communications have instead come from within those agencies themselves. 

“There's nothing that has come from the White House. Absolutely not,” White House press secretary Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerProgressive groups targeting Harvard, other universities with ad urging them to not hire Trump officials Celebs unwind at Capitol File WHCD after party Journalists close out WHCD at MSNBC/NBC News after-party MORE said. "There are a couple of these agencies that have had problems adhering to their own policies.”

“They haven’t been directed by us to do anything,” he said.

Since President Trump took office on Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been told not to tweet or communicate with the media while the agency reviews its public relations strategy. 

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The Interior Department was also reportedly instructed to stop operating its Twitter accounts following a couple of National Park Service tweets about the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd.

Then on Tuesday, South Dakota’s Badlands National Park account tweeted and later deleted four messages about climate change science. The National Park Service said those tweets were sent by a former employee who still had access to the account.

Spicer said the National Park Service tweets on Friday also came from a former employee, and EPA transition officials say the media ban there will be lifted soon. Spicer noted the agency improperly used social media during the Obama administration to promote a rule it was finalizing. 

Still, the media policy has angered environmentalists and Democrats who worry it previews a broader crackdown on the agencies’ science work.

Spicer insisted on Wednesday that wasn’t the case.

“From what I understand, they’ve been told within the agencies to adhere to their own policies. But that directive did not come from here," he said.