Nice segue eh? From the Shaq basketball star story to a news pun using basketball terminology! Woooooooooooo!
Oh yeah, the story…
The White House banned a CNN White House reporter from a Rose Garden event after reporter Kaitlan Collins asked President Trump questions at an Oval Office photo op on Wednesday. Collins was representing all the television networks as the “pool reporter” in the room during a meeting between Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission. As is customary, Collins lobbed a few questions at the president. She asked about Vladimir Putin and Michael Cohen. Trump did not answer the questions.
Later in the afternoon, the White House surprised the press corps by announcing a press availability with Trump and Juncker in the Rose Garden. It was said to be open to all press, not just the small pool. A few minutes later, Collins was asked to come to Bill Shine’s office. Shine, a former co-president of Fox News, is the new deputy chief of staff for communications. Shine and press secretary Sarah Sanders met Collins there.
“They said ‘You are dis-invited from the press availability in the Rose Garden today,'” Collins said in an interview. “They said that the questions I asked were inappropriate for that venue. And they said I was shouting.”
A video clip of the exchange shows that Collins was speaking the same way journalists in the press pool usually speak.
Collins said she reacted by saying, “You’re banning me from an event because you didn’t like the questions I asked.”
Collins said Shine and Sanders asserted that “we’re not banning your network. Your photographers can still come. Your producers can still come. But you are not invited to the Rose Garden today.”
In a statement in response to press inquiries, Sanders confirmed the dis-invitation. She claimed Collins “shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so.”
“To be clear, we support a free press and ask that everyone be respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House,” Sanders said.
Other reporters who were in the room said Collins was perfectly respectful.
In a statement, CNN disputed the White House’s assertion that Collins’ questions were inappropriate.
“Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of day doesn’t mean the question isn’t relevant and shouldn’t be asked,” the network said. “This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better.”
So much for free press…
Full court press! Full Court Press! Full Court Press!
Bill Shine and Sarah Sanders