The White House on Friday blocked several news organisations from an off-camera press briefing, raising alarm among the First Amendment watchdogs.
CNN, BBC, The New York Times, LA Times, BuzzFeed, The Hill, and the Daily Mail were barred from attending the meeting, held by White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Others major outlets such as ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, Reuters and Bloomberg were allowed.
The administration, however, defended its move, citing they had 'the pool there, so, everyone would be respresented and get an update'.
Both CNN and the Times magazine protested the decision. The White House Correspondents Association, the Associated Press and The New York Times have also protested the move.
“This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House. Apparently, this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don't like. We'll keep reporting regardless," CNN said in a statement.
“Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties,” Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, said in a statement.
This development came hours after US President Trump mocked the news media at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He said that much of the press represents "the enemy of the people."
Fox News anchor Bret Baier discouraged conservative news outlets who celebrated the gaggle, citing organisations who defended his network when former President Obama tried to freeze out Fox News in 2009.
With inputs from ANI
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