A daily press briefing had not been scheduled following President Trump's speech, however reporters were told a gaggle would take place in the briefing room. The New York Times, CNN, BuzzFeed News, Politico and the LA Times were not allowed in.
Some news organisations have levelled the accusation that the move is a tactic to contain reports that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus pressured the Federal Bureau of Investigation to quash stories of Trump campaign officials making contact with Russian intelligence organisations.
On Friday, the White House blocked several news outlets from attending an informal briefing even as President Donald Trump has continued to crusade against what he calls "fake news" and dishonest media. He also specifically asked his staff not to leak information about the meeting or his efforts to crack down on leaks to the media, one source said.
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A Reuters correspondent near the airport saw nine families living in a house where residents with full beards served trays of tea to security forces.
Of the administration's dispute with CNN, in particular, Spicer said they reported "pretty serious accusations, making it appear as if we did something wrong and nefarious when we want to make sure we set the record straight". Around noon, the White House updated that guidance, scuttling the gaggle to off-camera with the "expanded pool".
"It was my decision to decide to expand the pool", Spicer responded. The Journal says it would have joined the boycott if it had realized what was going on, the Washington Post reports. "Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest", said Dean Baquet, executive editor for the New York Times, in a statement. The White House schedule released Thursday evening said there would be a gaggle, not a full briefing.
The administration's actions on Friday directly contradict how Spicer previously said the press should be treated.
He continued by saying, "I think that's what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship". We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations.