Kaitlan Collins, a CNN reporter, was barred from covering an open press event with President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden on Wednesday, July 25th, by Bill Shine, the former FOX News exec and current deputy chief of staff of communications. After shouting what Shine considered an “inappropriate” comment at an earlier press pool, Collins was told she would not be allowed to attend the event between Trump and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.
Bill Shine, who joined the Trump administration in recent weeks, later pushed back on reports Collins had been banned from the event, claiming the reporter was simply “disinvited” from attending.
The question Collins was flagged for posing to the president concerned Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen. In the same open press event, she asked about the delayed meeting between Vladimir Putin and President Trump. Both questions went unanswered.
The White House Correspondents’ Association decried the move in a statement, sat that the move was a “misguided and inappropriate decision.”
Olivier Knox, this year’s president of the White House Correspondents Association, said “this type of retaliation is wholly inappropriate, wrong-headed, and weak,” and that “it cannot stand.”
FOX News president Jay Wallace condemned the move from the White House saying, “We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press.”
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders addressed the controversy during a press briefing Wednesday evening. “At the conclusion of a press event in the Oval Office a reporter shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so. Subsequently, our staff informed her she was not welcome to participate in the next event, but made clear that any other journalist from her network could attend.”