By Joe Simonson, DCNF
The White House Correspondents’ Association released a statement defending CNN from President Donald Trump’s refusal to take a question from the network on Friday.
“In response to the President lashing out at NBC, CNN and The Sun: Asking smart, tough questions, whether in a presidential press conference or interview, is central to the role a free press plays in a healthy republic,” said WHCA president Margaret Talev. “Given that the president took a question from a CNN reporter in his NATO news conference just a day earlier, maybe he was letting off steam today rather than expressing an official stance toward a news organization’s ability to report, but saying a news organization isn’t real doesn’t change the facts and won’t stop us from doing our jobs. We appreciate The Sun for posting the entire audio of their interview so that everyone can hear the president’s remarks for themselves.”
The response comes following a tense interaction between the president and CNN’s Jim Acosta during an international press conference while Trump was visiting England.
“Since you attacked CNN can I ask you a question?” Acosta shouted at the president without being called on.
“CNN is fake news. I don’t take questions from CNN. Let’s go to a real network,” Trump responded before calling on John Roberts of Fox News.
After a number of other journalists criticized Roberts for continuing to ask his question, despite Trump snubbing CNN, the Fox News reporter later released a statement defending CNN.
“In today’s press conference, I paused while my colleague from CNN went back and forth with President Trump over a question,” said Roberts. “When it became clear that the president wasn’t going to entertain a question from him, I proceeded with my question, as did my fellow colleagues in the press corps.”
“I also used to work at CNN,” he added. “There are some fine journalists who work there and risk their lives to report on stories around the world. To issue a blanket condemnation of the network as ‘fake news’ is also unfair.”
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