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White House Blocks Three Major Media Outlets from Friday's Press Briefing

Right-wing media outlet Breitbart was let in, while journalists from the AP and 'TIME' declined to attend.
February 24, 2017, 8:26pm
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Journalists from the New York Times, CNN, and Politico were barred from entering Sean Spicer's White House press briefing Friday, the New York Times reports. ABC, CBS, the Wall Street Journal, and conservative outlets Breitbart News and America News Network were apparently welcomed in.

"Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties," New York Times executive editor, Dean Baquet, said in a statement. "We strongly protest the exclusion of the New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest."

TIME magazine and Associated Press reporters decided not to attend the briefing in defiance of the actions, which were swiftly condemned by the White House Correspondents' Association shortly after.

"The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today's gaggle is being handled by the White House," Jeff Mason, the president of the press corps association, said in a statement. "We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff."

The move follows Trump's combative comments about the media during his appearance at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference for right-wing activists and political leaders Friday morning. The president criticized polls from CBS, ABC, NBC, and CNN, and said journalists "make up sources."

"Nobody loves the First Amendment more than me," Trump told a roaring crowd. "But [the media] never will represent the people and we're going to do something about it."