In another bizarre move by the current administration, a journalist was banned on Wednesday (July 25) from the White House press pool for asking President Donald Trump questions about Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Kaitlan Collins, a White House correspondent for CNN, has set off a rallying cry across various journalism outlets, including a strong critique of the ban from conservative strongholds such as Fox News.
CNN Money reports:
On Wednesday afternoon Collins was representing all the television networks as the “pool reporter” in the room during a meeting between Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission.
As is customary, Collins lobbed a few questions at the president. She asked about Vladimir Putin and Michael Cohen. Trump did not answer the questions.
Later in the afternoon, the White House surprised the press corps by announcing a press availability with Trump and Juncker in the Rose Garden. It was said to be open to all press, not just the small pool.
A few minutes later, Collins was asked to come to Bill Shine’s office. Shine, a former co-president of Fox News, is the new deputy chief of staff for communications. Shine and press secretary Sarah Sanders met Collins there.
“They said ‘You are dis-invited from the press availability in the Rose Garden today,'” Collins said in an interview. “They said that the questions I asked were inappropriate for that venue. And they said I was shouting.”
Accounts of the exchange painted an entirely different picture as Collins was asking questions with the same tone most reporters do in that arena. Further, other reporters stated on record that Collins was not behaving rudely when asking her questions.
“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 an issued statement. “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.”
Watch the video report from CNN below.