Playboy’s top White House correspondent Brian Karem, who is suing the White House to get the ban it placed on him lifted, has no plans to apologize for the spat with Seb Gorka that got him barred.
“I am provocative, and I am a smart-aleck, but I’m not going to apologize for that,” Karem told CNN’s Brian Stelter. “That’s OK, under the First Amendment. There have been far worse altercations occurred in the Rose Garden and by members of the press in the past.”
Stelter told Karem he thought his behavior during the altercation with Gorka, a right wing provocateur who used to work in the White House, was “unprofessional.” Karem said he understood that assessment but argued the White House can’t pick and choose what behavior is acceptable and not, listing out instances in which other reporters’ inappropriate behavior didn’t earn them a boot.
“At the end of the day, this administration, they’re never going to come at you straight on, Brian,” Karem said. “They’re never going to come at you and say, ‘Hey look, we don’t agree with the First Amendment.’ They’re going to come at you sideways. … You cannot sanction actions by one and then make OK the actions of the other in that type of environment.”
Brian Karem discusses WH ban on his press access pic.twitter.com/e9wabfPMPK
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) September 2, 2019
Karem, who is represented by attorney Ted Boutrous, the lawyer who helped CNN’s Jim Acosta regain his press pass after the White House barred him earlier this year, is suing President Trump and White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham to try to regain his credentials. The White House placed Karem’s hard pass on a 30-day suspension after the incident with Gorka in the Rose Garden during a social media summit at the White House in July.
Gorka and Karem traded insults after Karem was recorded saying: “This is a group of people who are eager for demonic possession.”
Gorka responded saying Karem was “not a journalist — you’re a punk!”