CNN and other news outlets were blocked Friday from an off-camera White House press briefing, raising alarm among media organizations and First Amendment watchdogs.
The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico and BuzzFeed were also excluded from the meeting, which is known as a gaggle and is less formal than the televised Q-and-A session in the White House briefing room. The gaggle was held by White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
In a brief statement defending the move, administration spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the White House “had the pool there so everyone would be represented and get an update from us today.”
The pool usually includes a representative from one television network and one print outlet. In this case, four of the five major television networks — NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News — were invited and attended the meeting, while only CNN was blocked.
And while The New York Times was kept out, conservative media organizations Breitbart News, The Washington Times and One America News Network were also allowed in.