Was it the questions being asked, or the ill manner of the reporter asking?
CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins was disinvited from a Rose Garden event on Wednesday, with the reporter claiming that it was because the White House didn’t appreciate the “inappropriate” questions she asked.
The White House decision came after Collins called out several questions to President Donald Trump following an Oval Office photo-op with President Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
As the photo-op was coming to a close and the press was being escorting out, some of the reporters, to include Collins, began screaming questions at Trump.
In effect, they sounded much like braying jackasses. The look on Juncker’s face as this took place was priceless.
Having yet to establish this week’s cause du jour to drive outrage, most media outlets rallied around Collins.
The White House Correspondents’ Association “strongly” condemned the “misguided and inappropriate decision,” declaring that is came because Collins “asked questions they did not like.”
Fox News also stood in “solidarity” with CNN.
“We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press,” said network president Jay Wallace.
According to CNN, Collins called out: “Did Michael Cohen betray you, Mr. President?” Then asked, “Mr. President, are you worried about what Michael Cohen is about to say to the prosecutors? Are you worried about what is on the other tapes, Mr. President?”
The reporter also asked: “Why is Vladimir Putin not accepting your invitation, Mr. President?”
“Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of day doesn’t mean the question isn’t relevant and shouldn’t be asked,” CNN said in a statement that was tweeted on Wednesday. “This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better.”
But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a later statement it wasn’t the questions being asked that the White House took issue with, but Collins’ tenacity — the CNN reporter refused to leave the Oval Office as the pool was being escorted out.
Sanders also clarified that CNN was not barred from the Rose Garden event, just this particular reporter, meaning another reporter from the network could have attended.
“At the conclusion of the press event in the Oval Office, a reporter shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so,” Sanders’ statement read. “Subsequently, our staff informed her she was not welcome to participate in the next event but made it clear that any other journalist from her network could attend.”
JUST IN: White House releases statement on incident Wednesday with CNN correspondent. pic.twitter.com/YsUJwhK1HF
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 25, 2018
“She said it didn’t matter to her because she hadn’t planned to be there anyway,” the statement continued. “To be clear, we support a free press and ask that everyone be respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House.
Choosing her words carefully, Collins said, “I was in my questions, quite respectful.”
She further justified her behavior by adding, “That is just simply how we do it here.”
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