The president of the United States doesn’t like to be questioned. Most dictators don’t. Unlike the president’s home away from home, Russia, where journalists who question Vladimir Putin come up missing, a CNN reporter was banned from an open press event for asking the president questions.
On Wednesday, at the end of President Trump’s meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins began asking questions like the other reporters in the room. It’s customary for reporters to ask the president questions whenever they are near him, whether it’s during a jaunt to Air Force One or as he’s commanding minions to get him a bucket of KFC. It’s kind of how this thing works.
Since the news of the day was the president’s reported dealing with a former Playboy playmate (which is kind of like saying you had a lead solo in your church youth choir when you were eight) and the 12 tapes that were seized by the FBI from the president’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, Collins began asking questions surrounding both matters. You can hear Collins clearly in the clip below.
Shortly after this, Collins told CNN that the newly appointed deputy chief of staff for communications, Bill Shine—the disgraced former Fox News exec who’s become the physical embodiment of falling up—and the devil’s mouthpiece, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, aka Suckabee, informed Collins that she wouldn’t be allowed to attend an open press event in the Rose Garden because she asked “inappropriate” questions.
Umm, if the president doesn’t want to answer questions about his side pieces then he shouldn’t have side pieces. Also, he shouldn’t lie, claiming he knew nothing about a potential payoff to said side piece when he clearly did. But this is the way of Trump’s White House—it’s always the other person’s fault.
Because the move to ban a reporter from an event for asking questions about subjects that the president tweeted about earlier in the day is an obvious abuse of power, many journalists including those at Fox News banned together to support Collins and in turn freedom of the press.
“We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press,” Fox News said in a statement viewed by CNN.
CNN notes that Collins wasn’t just working for CNN on Wednesday, as she was the TV pool reporter, which is a rotating position that requires selected individuals to provide other news outlets with daily reports from the White House.
“These were questions from the TV pool reporter, which means this is effectively an action taken against all the TV journalists covering the White House,” NBC’s Kasie Hunt tweeted.
Suckabee also issued a statement about the incident, which was full of alternative facts:
The only people shouting were the White House people, who do their best not to allow reporters an opportunity to question the president.
Clearly, this was about a president being embarrassed by his reported actions and a retaliatory measure to punish CNN for holding the White House accountable. It will be interesting to see if the White House continues to fabricate aggressions to substantiate faux outrage to continue to ban reporters who intend to hold the president’s feet to the flames coming off the dumpster fire he created.