Breitbart News, the right-wing online news site formerly run by White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon, has been denied permanent press credentials by the U.S. Senate press gallery.
The press gallery has requested Breitbart to clarify questions about its ownership and funding, such as several links between the site and employees and the wealthy Mercer family, who supported President Trump during the 2016 election. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Mercers spent $10 million in acquiring a majority interest in Breitbart News in 2011.
Senate passes are often seen as a step toward membership in the White House Correspondents Association, which would allow being part of the official White House “pool” of journalists that file reports on the president and administration activities.
Any media outlet wishing to obtain permanent access to the Capitol through press passes are required to reveal certain financial information to guarantee the news organization is not tied to a special interest group.
Additionally, the Senate press gallery committee was concerned over the office location of Breitbart, which is not zoned for office use. Breitbart had said it was in the process of moving offices.
The committee has granted a two-month extension on Breitbart’s temporary press passes, and requested new information on the application by April 18.