by Sinclair Broadcast Group
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) — A number of major media outlets report they were barred Friday from attending what was described as a “media briefing.”
A full transcript of the briefing is available here.
CNN, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Politico were among the news operations who were blocked from the briefing.
On air, CNN correspondent Sara Murray said there was a sign-up sheet for media prior to gaggle — which is non-standard.
President Donald Trump and chief strategist Steve Bannon have ratcheted up their criticism of the media in recent weeks.
Trump wrote on Twitter, “the FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” ahead of his comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Reports from the White House suggested other organizations who were admitted to the meeting boycotted in protest.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer informed reporters Friday’s briefing was meant for pool reports only — a smaller group of reporters who would relay information to other outlets. Spicer said he would expand the group “as he saw fit,” according to reports.
President of the White House Correspondents’ Association Jeff Mason said there is some precedence of the White House limiting briefings to pool reports.
The Associated Press chose not to participate in the gaggle following the move by Spicer.
“The AP believes the public should have as much access to the president as possible,” Lauren Easton, the AP’s director of media relations, said in a statement.
News organizations that were allowed in included the conservative website Breitbart news, which was founded by Bannon.
This story will be updated.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.