UPDATED with video of Collins asking the questions: White House has begun banning reporters.
White House today barred Kaitlin Collins from attending a Rose Garden event, to punish her for questions she asked when she was acting as White House pool reporter. They were “inappropriate,” the White House sniffed. [You can hear her asking the questions in the video, above, at around 1:25]
Collins was hauled into the principal’s office, aka sat down in front of White House media wrangling chief/former Fox News bigwig Bill Shine. Also in attendance was Sarah Huckabee Sanders, when Collins was informed of her “disinvitation” to the Rose Garden clambake with European Commission President Jean-Clause Juncker.
No, Collins did not ask him to prove he was born in this country by producing his longform birth certificate, which would be an outrageous thing to do, even if he is orange.
Here is what Collins did ask Trump:
“Did Michael Cohen betray you, Mr. President?”
“Mr. President, are you worried about what Michael Cohen is about to say to the prosecutors?”
“Are you worried about what is on the other tapes, Mr. President?”
“Why is Vladimir Putin not accepting your invitation?”
In a strongly worded statement, CNN said,”This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of a free and open press. We demand better.”
“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,” CNN added.
White House insists Collins was banned for “shouting questions” and declining to leave immediately “despite being repeatedly asked to do so.” That’s really rich, given that it is an accurate description of what many reporters typically do at these softball photo ops, as anyone who has been watching coverage of Donald Trump’s presidency well knows. That’s because Trump is too chicken to hold traditional news conferences and these exercises in photo op-ery often are White House correspondents only chance to ask questions of the President of the United States.
Fox News president Jay Wallace issued a statement supporting CNN: “We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press.”
The White House Correspondents Association also blasted the censorship, saying “We strongly condemn the White House’s misguided and inappropriate decision today to bar one of our members from an open press event after she asked questions they did not like.”
Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier also tweeted in support of Collins:
Here is CNN’s tweet on the development:
Here is White House statement: