President Donald Trump faced harsh criticism last week when he banned CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from an event in the Rose Garden. According to NBC News, the ban occurred after the reporter asked Trump a number of questions about his ties to Russia and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen at a press event earlier in the day. Then, Collins was told by “White House deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Sanders that her questions were ‘inappropriate,” and that she would not be allowed to attend the event in the Rose Garden, which was to be an “open press event.”
Various news outlets criticized the move, including White House Correspondents’ Association, who felt the decision to prevent Collins from attending the event was a “misguided and inappropriate decision.”
Even Fox News, which has often refrained from critiquing the Trump administration, weighed in. In a statement addressing the incident, Fox News’ president Jay Wallace said they stand with CNN “for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press.”
Despite the criticism from the media, presidential aid KellyAnne Conway insists that the press should show some “civility” when it comes to the Trump Administration, NBC News reports. She insists that while no one in the White House has an aversion to answering the questions posed by the news media, that “just being polite to the process, to the presidency, to the protocol, and not shouting questions long after the press has politely been asked to leave, long after you’ve had opportunity to be there with the president, I think it’s a very reasonable request.”
Conway also added that the problem is also that the press is “shouting” and “pouting” after the events, especially when they are asked to leave.
Shine, whose controversial appointment to Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications occurred earlier this month, also commented on the incident, saying that the way the incident had been “portrayed in the news media” was not how it actually occurred.
Press Secretary Sanders also addressed the incident in a statement on Wednesday night. She maintains that Collins was disrespectful and was shouting questions even after she’d already been asked to leave. Sanders added that Collins was the only one banned from CNN for attending the event and that while they respect the news media and a “free press,” they always ask for the press to be “respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House.”