CNN reported Sunday that former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci defended CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins, who was recently barred from a White House press event on Wednesday. Scaramucci said he disagrees with the White House’s decision to ban a reporter from an event, claiming that the order to bar Collins most likely came directly from President Trump.
Appearing on CNN‘s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Scaramucci said, “I disagree with it. What is the desired outcome, I guess that people don’t ask you those questions?”
“Well guess what,” he told Jake Tapper. “The First Amendment gives these reporters the right to do that…. This is what all these reporters have been doing for 30 or 40 years.”
The White House reportedly barred CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins from an open press event for asking “inappropriate” questions at a previous photo op with President Trump and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in the Oval Office. During the photo op, Collins asked the President several questions about Michael Cohen and Russian President Vladimir Putin, all of which he declined to answer.
Sarah Sanders, however, claims that Collins “shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so.”
On Sunday morning, Vice President Mike Pence told a Fox News anchor that while the White House thinks that freedom of the press is important, the administration is also concerned with proper decorum, adding, “I’m very confident that whether it be with that network or any network or any members of the media, that we’ll continue to work in a way that ensures the access of the American people to this administration.”
Scaramucci also told Tapper that the decision to ban Collins from the press event came from President Trump, himself. “I don’t know this for a fact — that (order) probably came from the President. He likes to be respected. He was probably frustrated at that moment,” Scaramucci said.
Then, turning to the camera to address his former friends and colleagues at the White House, Scaramucci urged the Trump administration not to bar Collins or other members of the press from any events as a rule of thumb. “Having a war declaration or having that level of antagonism with the press does not help the President, does not serve his interests going into the midterms or the reelection,” he said.
Scaramucci served as President Trump’s communications director for just 11 days.