The White House has been quietly yanking press credentials from the majority of the press corps on the basis of a stringent attendance policy.
The White House has introduced strict new guidelines for reporters who cover the West Wing, the Washington Post reported Wednesday evening. The move will limit the number of reporters who hold “hard passes” that allow for easier access to the White House, according to the Post.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claims that the revocation of hard passes is due to security concerns, not a punishment.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reporters must have been at the White House in person at least 90 of the past 180 days to receive a hard pass. This standard is made more difficult to achieve due to reporters’ travel obligations and the rarity of official briefings.
Journalists have criticized the move.
Washington Post fact checker:
Revolting behavior by this administration —> The White House revoked my press pass. It’s not just me — it’s curtailing access for all journalists. https://t.co/zvNXKcCwIk
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) May 8, 2019
Washington Post opinion columnist:
Trump’s White House just revoked the press pass I’ve had for 21 years as part of its broader crackdown on journalists’ access. https://t.co/lUrDN9pTBB
— Dana Milbank (@Milbank) May 8, 2019
The Trump admin changed policy so now “virtually the entire White House press corps is credentialed under ‘exceptions,’” @Milbank writes. And in theory – and unlike before – those press passes can now be yanked at any time. https://t.co/3IO1vfLcF7
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) May 8, 2019
New York Times reporter and columnist:
— Dan Barry (@DanBarryNYT) May 8, 2019