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CNN rebukes White House for barring its reporter from press event

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Trump Jean-Claude Juncker
Donald
Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude
Juncker.

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  • CNN rebuked the White House communications staff on
    Wednesday after one of its reporters, Kaitlan Collins, was
    barred from an open press event.
  • Collins was told that earlier questions she asked of
    President Donald Trump, which focused on Trump’s former lawyer
    Michael Cohen, were “inappropriate,” CNN’s public relations
    department said.
  • The move was further criticized because Collins at the
    time was the designated pool reporter representing several
    other news networks, including CNN.
  • The Trump administration has been openly hostile to CNN
    and other news networks, and frequently bristles at any news
    coverage it believes is anything less than favorable to
    Trump.

CNN rebuked White House communications staff on Wednesday after
one of its reporters, Kaitlan Collins, was kept out of an open
press event featuring President Donald Trump.

The decision by the deputy chief of staff for communications Bill
Shine and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was due to what
they said were “inappropriate” questions Collins asked Trump
earlier in the day, CNN’s public-relations department said in a
statement
.

The questions Collins asked were about Trump’s former lawyer,
Michael Cohen. Some of those questions included:

  • “Did Michael Cohen betray you, Mr. President?”
  • “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?”
  • “Why is Vladimir Putin not accepting your invitation?”

All of those inquiries stem from the release of audio from a
conversation
Cohen secretly recorded between himself and Trump in 2016
,
the contents of which were made public Tuesday night. Trump
reacted to that audio on Wednesday morning.

The question about Putin is in reference to the Russian
president’s announcement this week that
he would likely not accept an invitation from Trump
to visit
the White House, after a
summit between the two leaders in Helsinki, Finland
, last
week was roundly condemned in the US.

The White House’s move to keep Collins out of the press event was
additionally problematic because Collins at the time was
representing several other news networks as the designated pool
reporter. The Trump administration has been openly hostile to CNN
and other news networks, except for Fox News, since Trump took
office. Shine, a veteran of Fox News, joined the White House
earlier this month.

Responding to the incident with Collins, the White House
Correspondents Association said in a
statement
: “This type of retaliation is wholly inappropriate,
wrong-headed, and weak. It cannot stand.”

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