WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) — The White House hubbub with the media continued Friday during an off-camera press briefing held by Press Secretary Sean Spicer that let some in and kept some out.
CNN, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico and Buzzfeed were all excluded from the “gaggle,” which is a less formal media session than Spicer’s daily Q & A briefing.
While CNN was barred, CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox News were all allowed inside, as were Breitbart News, The Washington Times and One America News Network, according to CNN.
Spicer said he made the decision because they originally had a “pool” session scheduled, which is where one media outlet shares their coverage with the rest. Press gaggles disallow video recording.
“We had it as pool and then we expanded it, and we added some folks to come cover it,” Spicer responded, when asked if the move was in retaliation for the apparent media quarrel. “It was my decision to expand the pool.”
“This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House. Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don’t like. We’ll keep reporting regardless,” CNN said in a statement.
The Associated Press and Time magazine boycotted the move.
At the annual CPAC conference in Maryland Friday, President Trump doubled down on his attack against “fake news” and clarified his stance with the media.
“I want you all to know that we are fighting the fake news. Fake, phony, fake,” the president said. “A few days ago, I called the fake news the enemy of the people.”
But his emphasis is on the “fake” news.
“In fact, in covering my comments, the dishonest media did not explain that I called the ‘fake’ news the enemy of the people. ‘Fake’ news. They dropped off the word ‘fake.’ And all of a sudden, the story became ‘the media’ is the enemy. They take the word ‘fake’ out,” he explained. “So I’m not against the media. I’m not against the press. I don’t mind bad stories if I deserve them.”
In December, Spicer spoke to C-SPAN about the press and the difference between a democracy and dictatorship.
Following Friday’s exclusive hangout, CBS News said they were the TV and radio pool and shared the audio with the other news outlets.