A CNN reporter said she was blocked from an open media event at the White House on Wednesday after officials objected to questions she asked President Trump at an event earlier in the day.
Reporter Kaitlan Collins said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and communications director Bill Shine told her she was banned from a late-afternoon announcement in the Rose Garden involving Trump and European Union president Jean-Claude Juncker a few hours after she sought to question Trump during a press-pool “spray” in the Oval Office.
Blocking a credentialed White House reporter from an event open to all members of the media is highly unusual and possibly unprecedented, and it marks another low point in the Trump White House’s highly strained relationship with the news media.
It wasn’t clear whether Shine and Sanders were acting on their own against Collins or were carrying out a directive from Trump himself.
In a statement Wednesday, the White House said:
“At the conclusion of a press event in the Oval Office a reporter shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so. Subsequently, our staff informed her she was not welcome to participate in the next event, but made clear that any other journalist from her network could attend.
She said it didn’t matter to her because she hadn’t planned to be there anyway. To be clear, we support a free press and ask that everyone be respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House.”
Trump has a particularly fraught relationship with CNN, which he often blasts as purveyor of “fake news.’