Pressure mounting on Trump to explain press exclusion

Journalists from the BBC, New York Times, CNN, LA Times and others weren't allowed in to a scheduled briefing on Friday.

Pressure mounting on Trump to explain press exclusion

TRUMP

Pressure is mounting on the US President to explain why several media outlets have been barred from White House press briefings.

Journalists from the BBC, New York Times, CNN, LA Times and others weren't allowed in to a scheduled briefing on Friday.

Instead, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer selected a handful of right-wing outlets including Breitbart, Fox News, ABC and the Wall Street Journal.

In another apparent snub to the press, President Trump has announced that he won't attend the White House Correspondents' dinner in April.

Mr Trump is the first President in 36 years not to attend - the last time it happened Ronald Reagan was recovering from an assassination attempt.

The snub comes after the White House Correspondents' Association slammed the press briefing exclusions as “an unmistakable insult to democratic ideals.”

Former White House Correspondent Gina London said the Trump administration is simply blocking people the president doesn't like.

“What has happened is they have made a decision – they didn’t like the way Politico, the online site, covered them so they are not putting them in. They don’t like the way the New York Times is still going forward with the Russian story so they are not including them.”

“Same with CNN [...] same with Huffington Post, the Guardian, Real Clear Politics, Daily News, LA Times, BBC I understand – were all part of those that were suddenly blocked.”

Harry Browne, a lecturer in Journalism at DIT said that by snubbing the Correspondents' Dinner, President Trump is playing to his support base:

“The Correspondents’ Dinner is one of those staged events that is a real sign of what is wrong in Washington anyway,” he said.

“It is a clique and in fact that sense of happy family, that bi-partisanship has been breaking down in Washington in social terms anyway.

“There is not the same kind of partying between journalists, Republicans and Democrats that there was in years gone by and in some respects this is kind of a reflection of the way that change has taken place and I don’t think it is a particularly alarming change to be honest.”

Addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland on Friday, President Trump again launched a scathing attack on what he called the “fake media” - again describing it as the “enemy of the people.”