California newspaper says it was excluded from event with Nunes, Bernhardt

California newspaper says it was excluded from event with Nunes, Bernhardt
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A California newspaper whose parent company is being sued by Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesTrump steps up intensity in battle with media Nunes urges Americans to 'stop panicking': 'It's a great time to just go out' if you're healthy Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for another week fighting the coronavirus, seek to curb fallout MORE (R-Calif.) says that it was excluded from a water forum featuring the lawmaker and Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt

The Fresno Bee published an article Tuesday in which it says it was told that morning that its reporters would not be permitted to cover the forum and quoting Nunes staffer Crystal Ervin as saying in a voicemail message, “It’s invited press only, and you’re not on the list and your ticket will not scan at the door.”

At the event, Bernhardt detailed an effort to use "cold water temperature regimes" to help salmon and real-time location monitoring of smelt, according to video from local TV station Fox 26

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"We will be utilizing the best science ... and we will be able, we believe, to be much more efficient," he said. 

The Hill has attempted to reach Nunes's office for comment. The Interior Department did not handle press credentialing for the event, according to a spokesperson who referred The Hill to Nunes's office.

Nunes has accused McClatchy, which owns the newspaper, of defamation over a 2018 Fresno Bee article. 

He has alleged that a Republican consultant conspired with a reporter to spread falsehoods including an allegation the congressman "was involved with cocaine and underage prostitutes" during a 2015 charity yacht party.

McClatchy has stood by the newspaper's reporting. 

The Fresno Bee, in its Tuesday article, said that it is "unusual for an elected representative to prevent a news organization from covering an event with a cabinet secretary."

The paper noted that other local news outlets were permitted at the event. 

—Updated at 2:08 p.m.