CNN and the New York Times say that their reporters, as well as journalists from the Los Angeles Times and Politico, were not allowed entry to a White House media briefing on Friday.
Other outlets, including The Associated Press and Time, left the off-camera briefing held by press secretary Sean Spicer in protest, CNN media and politics reporter Dylan Byers said.
“Spicer held this gaggle. Certain media outlets were told they could not attend,” Byers said on CNN Friday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington, President Donald Trump spoke at length about “fake news” – he used the phrase seven times during the speech – and said that purveyors of it were an “enemy of the people.” He railed against news organizations using what he referred to as made-up, unnamed “sources.”
“Let there be no more sources,” Trump said.
Known conservative news outlets, including Breitbart News and One America News Network, were allowed to attend, CNN reported.
Other outlets permitted into the briefing, the New York Times wrote, included Bloomberg, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.
The White House Correspondents’ Association issued a statement in protest.
“The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today’s gaggle is being handled by the White House. We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff,” Jeff Mason, WHCA president, said.
The Times expressed disbelief at the treatment via a statement from executive editor Dean Baquet.
“Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties,” Baquet said. “We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”