Massive fallout has erupted over the White House’s decision to ban CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from an event in the Rose Garden Wednesday afternoon, after she repeatedly shouted a question at President Trump during a photo-op in the Oval Office with European Union (EU) Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
As reporters were being asked to leave the room, Collins raised her voice and asked additional questions of Trump. The Hill reported on Collin’s questions as follows:
She asked, “Did Michael Cohen betray you, Mr. President?” and repeated the question once, according to CNN.
She then asked, “Mr. President, are you worried about what Michael Cohen is about to say to the prosecutors? Are you worried about what is on the other tapes, Mr. President?”
When Trump didn’t respond, Collins asked, “Why is Vladimir Putin not accepting your invitation, Mr. President?”
Trump reportedly ignored the questions and said, “Thank you very much, everybody” to the press pool.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine told Collins her questions were inappropriate, and she was therefore banned from attending the next event in the Rose Garden.
Collins later tweeted that the statement from John Bolton announcing that the next meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin was delayed until next year came after she had asked her question of Trump.
This after Trump didn't answer my questions on why Putin hadn't accepted his invitation to visit this fall yet. https://t.co/bpQpuWMV93
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) July 25, 2018
Outraged has poured in on Twitter over Collins being banned.
CNN Reporter Jim Acosta, who has often clashed with Trump, tweeted that this is “a new low for the White House.”
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) July 25, 2018
Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern (Mass.) tweeted, “Wannabe tyrant Donald Trump is banning reporters he doesn’t like from official press events. Journalists like @kaitlancollins ask questions not just for their news outlet, but on behalf of all Americans. Shutting them out is a slap in the face to our democracy.”
— The Hill (@thehill) July 25, 2018
High profile attorney Lisa Bloom weighed in, tweeting, “I think this is a clear First Amendment violation, if CNN chose to challenge it. POTUS cannot punish a reporter because he doesn’t like her challenging questions.”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 25, 2018
The White House retaliated against @CNN by not letting the pool reporter in an event. Well it happened a day after the exclusive airing of that @MichaelCohen212 tape with @realDonaldTrump. @realDonaldTrump was sworn to uphold the constitution. Freedom of the press.
— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) July 25, 2018
Siren – my kick ass colleague @kaitlancollins was banned from an open press event for asking legit questions of the president on behalf of the 5 network pool. As a former White House reporter and as an American – this is outrageous and highly alarming.
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) July 25, 2018
Senator Blumenthal responds to CNN reporter, @kaitlancollins, being banned from President Trump's event: "I am shocked and angry, deeply offended … It is public property, it's not Donald Trump's personal home or place of business" https://t.co/LPQ78hdKAQ pic.twitter.com/gNfM6A56qN
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) July 25, 2018
In statement, White House @PressSec acknowledges barring CNN reporter @kaitlancollins because she “shouted questions and refused to leave” Oval Office at end of pool spray. If that’s the standard, they will have to bar every member of the press pool since that’s what all of us do
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) July 25, 2018