Angry Trump tries — and fails — to shut down CNN’s Kaitlan Collins for asking about Brett Kavanaugh

President Donald Trump on Monday angrily tried to shut down CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins for trying to ask him a question about embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

During a press conference about Trump’s renegotiated trade deal with Canada and Mexico, Collins tried to squeeze in a question about Kavanaugh — and Trump frantically tried to shut her down.

“Don’t do that!” the president exclaimed. “Excuse me, do you have a question on trade?”

Nevertheless, Collins persisted.

“You’ve already answered several questions on trade…” Collins began.

“Don’t do that, that’s not nice!” Trump again interrupted.

The president then tried to get some other reporter to ask a question about his trade deal — but Collins kept talking.

“You said the FBI should interview whomever they believe is appropriate,” Collins said.

“Does that include Julie Swetnick, the third accuser? And can you promise to release the full findings when they finish the report, Mr. President?”

[Raw Story]

Media

Mike Pence Defends White House Banning CNN Reporter From Press Event

Vice President Mike Pence stood by the White House’s decision to ban a CNN reporter from a press event last week, citing the need to maintain “decorum.”

“This administration believes in the freedom of the press,” Pence told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo in an interview airing Sunday. “But maintaining the decorum that is due at the White House… is an issue that we’ll continue to work forward.”

The White House was hit with intense backlash from dozens of journalists and media outlets on Wednesday after it disinvited CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, representing five television networks as the day’s chosen pool reporter, from a press event.

Collins was told by the White House that at a brief gathering earlier in the day, she had asked President Donald Trump “inappropriate” questions and had refused to leave the Oval Office, according to CNN. Collins and other reporters present at the time disputed the White House’s claim.

Several cable news networks, including Fox News, issued statements expressing solidarity with CNN and calling for reporters’ full access to press events.

Despite Trump’s repeated attacks on the press, including falsely accusing outlets of publishing “fake news” and calling journalists the “enemy of the people,” Pence told Bartiromo that the administration has provided “extraordinary access to the media.”

“The president answers so many questions in so many different settings, and I can assure that we’ll continue to do that,” Pence said.

While Trump occasionally takes impromptu questions from reporters at various gatherings, he hasn’t held a solo press conference since February 2017.

Pence deflected when asked by Bartiromo whether shutting out Collins was like shutting out “everybody” from the press event.

“I would leave that decision to the White House staff,” he said. “We’ll make sure that every network, every major news organization, continues to have access because we stand for the freedom of the press in this White House.”

Trump and New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger, meanwhile, found themselves offering vastly different takes on a meeting they had earlier this month at the White House that focused on journalistic matters.

The president tweeted on Sunday that they spent “much time” discussing “the vast amount of Fake News being put out,” his erroneous phrase for stories that displease him.

But Sulzberger, in a statement to HuffPost, said his “main purpose for accepting the meeting was to raise concerns about the president’s deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric.” He said he told Trump “directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.”

[Huffington Post]

Reality

Here is a list of over 300 times Trump has not held the same decorum he wants the press to be held to:

http://www.stopthedonaldtrump.com/category/unpresidential/attack-the-press/

White House disputes that CNN’s Kaitlan Collins was ‘banned’

The White House took issue with the characterization that they banned CNN’s Kaitlan Collins from covering a White House event Wednesday after the White House informed her that she was not welcome to attend.

White House deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine challenged reporters on Thursday about whether the administration had ever used the word “ban.”

On Wednesday, Collins was representing the television networks in an Oval Office event where she shouted several questions to the president related to his former lawyer Michael Cohen and about a White House invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Could you ask her if we ever used the word ban?” Shine said to reporters on Thursday, referring to Collins, standing outside the West Wing and addressing reporters standing several feet away.

Even as he refuted that Collins’ denied access amounted to a ban, Shine repeatedly declined to tell reporters what word he would use to characterize the White House’s decision to block her from attending the event.

“When you ask her if we ever used the word ban, then I will answer that question,” Shine said in reply to reporters inquiring about what word he would use. “You ask her, focus now, you ask her if we ever used the word ban.”

The White House statement issued yesterday said Collins was “informed…she was not welcome to participate in the next event.”

The White House Correspondents’ Association issued a statement condemning the White House’s decision.

“This type of retaliation is wholly inappropriate, wrong-headed, and weak. It cannot stand,” WHCA President Olivier Knox said.

While Shine did not engage in a full conversation with reporters on Wednesday’s incident, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway told reporters that the White House doesn’t object to reporters asking questions of the president but that she felt Collins’ exchange didn’t demonstrate a necessary level of civility and politeness.

“The question isn’t are the press allowed to ask questions, this president obviously isn’t afraid of taking questions,” said Conway, who said it’s about “being polite and not shouting questions long after the press has politely been asked to leave.”

Collins’ behavior was not out of order from the standard procedure of White House reporters who regularly pose questions to the president at the conclusion of press events. The president has, on numerous occasions, responded to these shouted inquiries.

[ABC News]

Trump aide Conway says media should show ‘more respect’ after White House bars reporter from event

Just hours after the White House banned a CNN reporter from attending a press event with President Donald Trump, adviser Kellyanne Conway on Thursday berated the news media, claiming that “shouting” and “pouting” reporters should show more “civility” and “respect” toward the administration.

When asked Thursday why Kaitlan Collins had been booted from a Rose Garden event a day earlier after she peppered the president with questions on Russia and Michael Cohen, Conway, counselor to Trump, responded that unruly reporters were to blame for the incident.

“I think that the question isn’t are the press allowed to ask questions, this president obviously isn’t afraid of questions. We answer them routinely,” she told reporters gathered on the White House lawn. “And that incident aside, just being polite to the process, to the presidency, to the protocol, and not shouting questions long after the press has politely been asked to leave, long after you’ve had opportunity to be there with the president, I think it’s a very reasonable request.”

“And that incident aside, I’m just speaking more broadly, the civility that you all call for sometimes when you’re in your broadcasts, I think it should start here at the White House, and just show a little bit more respect,” Conway continued.

“I think it’s the shouting and the pouting long after the press corps has been politely asked to leave the room,” she said.

Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive who Trump tapped earlier this month as his deputy chief of staff for communications, also weighed in, casting doubt on the way the incident had been portrayed in the news media and telling reporters to ask Collins if anyone from the White House had used the word “ban” when not allowing her in.

Collins had served as the network television “pool reporter” during an Oval Office photo op with Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Wednesday, meaning she was asking questions on behalf of several TV news organizations.

[NBC News]

White House bans network pool reporter from Rose Garden event

The White House took retaliatory action against Kaitlan Collins, a White House reporter for CNN, after Collins asked President Trump questions at an Oval Office photo op on Wednesday.

CNN, rival networks, and the White House Correspondents Association all spoke out against the administration’s action.

On Wednesday afternoon Collins was representing all the television networks as the “pool reporter” in the room during a meeting between Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission.

As is customary, Collins lobbed a few questions at the president. She asked about Vladimir Putin and Michael Cohen. Trump did not answer the questions.

Later in the afternoon, the White House surprised the press corps by announcing a press availability with Trump and Juncker in the Rose Garden. It was said to be open to all press, not just the small pool.

A few minutes later, Collins was asked to come to Bill Shine’s office. Shine, a former co-president of Fox News, is the new deputy chief of staff for communications. Shine and press secretary Sarah Sanders met Collins there.

“They said ‘You are dis-invited from the press availability in the Rose Garden today,'” Collins said. “They said that the questions I asked were inappropriate for that venue. And they said I was shouting.”

A video clip of the exchange shows that Collins was speaking the same way journalists in the press pool usually speak.

Collins said she reacted by saying, “You’re banning me from an event because you didn’t like the questions I asked.”

Collins said Shine and Sanders asserted that “we’re not banning your network. Your photographers can still come. Your producers can still come. But you are not invited to the Rose Garden today.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the matter.

In a statement, CNN disputed the White House’s assertion that Collins’ questions were inappropriate.

“Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of day doesn’t mean the question isn’t relevant and shouldn’t be asked,” the network said. “This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better.”

What Collins described — telling a well-known and well-respected reporter that she can’t attend a presidential event — is another serious escalation against the press by the Trump administration.

Reporters from the major networks take turns as the TV “pool reporter.” Wednesday happened to be CNN’s day.

On some days, there’s only one opportunity to ask the president questions.

So Collins felt she should ask about two of Wednesday’s biggest stories when journalists were let inside the Oval Office for a portion of Trump and Juncker’s meeting.

She asked: “Did Michael Cohen betray you, Mr. President?” She repeated the question, 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?”

This was a follow-up to Trump’s Wednesday morning tweet about the Cohen tape that CNN aired on Tuesday night.

Trump didn’t answer, so Collins changed subjects. She asked, “Why is Vladimir Putin not accepting your invitation, Mr. President?”

This was a reference to last week’s announcement by Sanders that Putin was being invited to Washington in the fall.

Trump rebuffed the questions by saying, “thank you very much, everybody” to the press pool.

Collins said the photo op was “totally normal.”

“It wasn’t anything different from any other pool spray,” she said.

She was taken aback by Shine and Sanders’ assertions later in the day.

Recalling what she told them in the short meeting, she said, “I’m from Alabama. I’m not rude. I believe you should always be polite when you ask a question. I totally believe that.”

[CNN]