Newly minted White House Communications Director Bill Shine made his first public remarks since joining the West Wing on Thursday morning, by aggressively combatting reports that CNN’s Kaitlan Collins was banned from covering a Rose Garden event on Wednesday for posing “inappropriate” questions to the President.
“You ask her if we ever used the word ban. I’ve seen it on lower thirds,” Shine said to a group of reporters assembled outside the White House Thursday. When asked what word he used, he condescendingly told reporters to “focus now” while he repeated himself.
“When you ask her if we ever used the word ‘ban,’ then I will answer that question. … When you ask her, focus now, you ask her if we ever used the word ban,” he said.
Bill Shine gets combative about reports that CNN's Kaitlan Collins was banned from Rose Garden event: "You ask her if we ever used the word ban." pic.twitter.com/fQo23uVrox
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 26, 2018
Collins told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday afternoon that Shine (a former Fox News executive) and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had informed her she wasn’t allowed to attend the presidential event because she asked “inappropriate” questions during a pool spray between Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Collins was working as the press pool reporter on Wednesday and asking several questions as the press are ushered out of the room is common for the network reporter representing the pool.
The White House claims she was told she was not welcome to participate in the next event because she shouted questions and didn’t leave when she was repeatedly asked to do so.
It is unclear what difference the wording of the statement would make, given Collins wasn’t allowed to participate regardless.