Journalists are standing with CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins after the White House barred her from an open press event at the Rose Garden Wednesday afternoon. Their reasoning was that Collins “shouted questions” during a photo-op at the Oval Office.
The event was with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
Even Fox News has stood up against the Trump Administration and issued a statement that reads, “we stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press” according to their competitor.
NPR reports that Collins was the rep for five different TV networks and serving as the pool reporter that day. Her questions centered on lawyer Michael Cohen’s betrayal and the invitation extended to Vladimir Putin.
The president paid no attention to Collin’s questions and averted his eyes as reporters looked on. Collins says she was brought into Bill Shine’s office after the photo-op and told not to attend the open press event at the Rose Garden.
Shine is formerly the executive of Fox News and was brought on at the White House as the deputy chief of staff for communications for the Trump administration. He reportedly told Collins that her questions were “inappropriate.”
CNN fired back with a statement that read, “Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of the day doesn’t mean the question isn’t relevant and shouldn’t be asked.”
Network heads reportedly plan on filing formal complaints against Shine and other White House officials.
Oliver Knox, who serves as the White House Correspondents’ Association President, blasted the White House’s actions, calling it “wrong-headed” and “weak.”
He added, “Reporters asking questions of powerful government officials, up to and including the President, helps hold those people accountable.”
Press Secretary Sarah Sander’s statement later that day read, “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.”
Sanders claims that other CNN journalists would have been allowed access to the press event at the Rose Garden.
Sanders added, “To be clear, we support a free press and ask that anyone be respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House.”
Huffington Post reports that other journalists inquired about the Cohen tapes and were ushered out of the office, but Collin’s story as a CNN reporter is the most visible.