White House Wanted Correspondents Chair To Condemn Politico Article

The president of the White House Correspondents’ Association said President Donald Trump’s administration wanted him to publicly criticize an article Politico reporter Tara Palmeri wrote about media access.

Appearing on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday, the correspondents’ association president and Reuters reporter Jeff Mason confirmed that it was Palmeri’s reporting he’d been asked to condemn.

He refused to do so and didn’t reveal the name of the reporter until this weekend.

Palmeri, who was also on “Reliable Sources” Sunday, said she wasn’t surprised by the revelations, saying she had heard the White House wanted her removed from the association.

Which they don’t have power to do. They’re an independent association. And they were upset because I wrote a story that was completely factual, that over the course of the trip, the president had not given a press conference. That is plain and simple,” she said. “And we also did not get access to senior administration officials regularly until my story came out. After that, we had so much more access to them.”

She criticized the President’s constant attack on the media and defended the work she and others have done to cover the new administration.

“I think at the end of the day, we’re supposed to be balanced. We shouldn’t be pro-Trump or anti-Trump,” she said. “We should just be all about the facts and the issues and I think there is a prerogative to say ‘Oh they’re being anti-Trump,’ but no we’re being critical, it’s our job to be critical regardless of who the president is.”

Trump continued his crusade against the media this weekend, tweeting Sunday that “Fake news is distorting democracy in our country.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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