NBC’s Chuck Todd says openly contemptuous White House is ‘very controlling’

NBC’s chief White House correspondent accused the Obama administration of being “very controlling” and “obsessed when something leaks.”

Chuck Todd’s comments came in response to an observation by MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough that the White House seems to be “openly contemptuous” toward reporters and that its secrecy is a wide-ranging problem causing great frustration. The complaint echoes that of other reporters and photographers recently voicing displeasure with this administration.

Washington Free Beacon posted video and part of Todd’s response, reporting:

Todd confirmed Scarborough’s remarks, saying: “They’re just very controlling… it is amazing to me that this White House does get obsessed when something ‘leaks.’ They seem to be sometimes more worried ‘Well, who did it?’, ‘How did this get out?’, rather than dealing with the story itself…”

He added that the White House often takes advantage of technology to go around the press “in a way that we’ve never seen any other White House do…”

“When you take that, you take the access limitations, you throw in the aggressive attempts to prosecute leakers, and I think it paints the larger picture that Jill Abramson was trying to point which was: Boy, these guys are controlling, these guys are secretive.  But I would go to your point- they’re selectively secretive. Obviously, they’re not as secretive when they don’t think it’s a political benefit.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied such accusations in a Sunday interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl.

When New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson called this the most secretive White House she has ever covered, Carney responded adamantly, saying: “I strongly disagree with that statement. I know from experience that it’s wrong. We provide an extraordinary amount of information and access to reporters, and we work every day to provide more.”

Michele Kirk

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