CNN Reporter Kaitlan Collins Barred From Attending White House Event For Asking “Inappropriate Questions”
The press community has gathered behind CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins after she was barred from attending an open media event at the White House Wednesday, for asking questions deemed “inappropriate” by officials earlier that day.
Collins had covered a White House press pool “spray” — a brief photo opportunity in which reporters are free to ask the president questions. As a pool reporter, Collins was there representing multiple television networks.
After the event, the journalist was reportedly singled out by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Chief of Communications Bill Shine, who told her that in light of her questions, she had been “disinvited” from the following event.
“They said that the questions I asked were inappropriate for that venue,” Collins told CNN.
Collins had asked the president about his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen whose recently released tapes captured President Donald Trump discussing hush money payments to cover up his alleged affair with Playboy model, Karen McDougal. “Did Michael Cohen betray you, Mr. President?” she asked. The reporter also questioned the president as to why Russian President Vladimir Putin had not yet accepted his invitation to visit Washington. Trump ignored the questions.
The White House defended its decision Wednesday, citing how Collins had apparently “shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so.” But Collins later refuted this claim, noting that the event was “totally normal” and “wasn’t anything different from any other pool spray,” she said.
The decision has received widespread backlash from the press community. Olivier Knox, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, issued a statement condemning the White House’s behavior as “misguided and inappropriate.”
— WHCA (@whca) July 25, 2018
CNN’s competitor, Fox News, also issued a statement on the incident.
“We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press,” said Fox News president Jay Wallace.
Check out Collins’ recount of her experience and skip to 1:27 to view a clip of the event in question, courtesy of CNN:
The White House banned Kaitlan Collins, a White House reporter for CNN, from a press event after Collins asked President Trump questions at an Oval Office photo op https://t.co/7QN8CoZ7sp pic.twitter.com/hWspq7W1yy
— CNN (@CNN) July 25, 2018