WH Spokesman on Barring CNN Reporter from Event: ‘It’s About Process, Procedure, and Protocol’

By Melanie Arter | July 27, 2018 | 6:49pm EDT
CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlyn Collins (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House on Thursday disputed a CNN reporter’s claim that she was barred from a White House open press event on Wednesday because she shouted questions to the president about his former attorney Michael Cohen secretly taping him.

According to White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley,t CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins was refused entry to a White House Rose Garden ceremony between President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker because she refused to leave the Oval Office during an earlier meeting between the two leaders.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, CNN said in a statement Wednesday that Collins was denied access to cover the open press event and was “told by White House deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Sanders that her questions were ‘inappropriate.’”

During a press gaggle on board Air Force One en route to Joint Base Andrews in Camp Springs, Md., a reporter asked Gidley if it was the administration’s policy “that if you guys don’t like the questions that we ask in pool sprays, we will be asked not to attend open press events.”

“That's not in the policy. It had nothing to do with the content of the questions. Those are news-of-the-day questions. What it had to do with -- and you guys know how it works. When the president thanks the press for attending an event, the event is over -- or at least the press engagement is over at that time,” said Gidley.

“This -- the reporter in question that you're talking about was told repeatedly to leave the Oval Office. They refused to do that, stayed in the Oval Office despite staff, Secret Service, everyone trying to usher everyone out of the room, and that can't happen,” he said.

“But there were multiple reporters, including people in this group right here, who were in that room. There were a ton of press. There was a bottleneck. There was one European reporter who was kind of going back and forth. That -- your account of how it transpired does not match what people in the room say happened,” the reporter said.

“Well, I was standing there, as well,” Gidley said. “So I was in the room, too, and there was one reporter in particular who refused to move. And the bottleneck you mention can only occur when people are moving. Somebody stayed in place, wouldn’t move.

“And when those events are over and we say ‘thank you,’ that means the rule is you leave the Oval Office. Someone stayed there and refused to leave after being told repeatedly to leave, and so that was fallout from that action,” he said.

“It's about process, procedure, and protocol, and everyone who goes in there understands when the president is done with a conversation, everyone leaves. The press are escorted out, typically in an orderly fashion, but in this particular instance, someone refused to leave after being told repeatedly to do so,” Gidley said.


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