The White House Correspondents' Association on Sunday said it is “closely monitoring” the decision of the White House press secretary to suspend the pass of reporter Brian Karem for 30 days and is ready to protest if his due process rights are violated, Politico reported.
“We sincerely hope this White House does not again make the mistake of revoking a reporter's hard pass [long-term media credentials],” WHCA president Jonathan Karl said in a statement. “The WHCA has stood up to violations of due process rights before and we stand ready to safeguard those rights for all reporters who work to hold our government accountable.”
Karem tweeted over the weekend that he received an email from the White House saying his pass would be suspended starting this Monday afternoon for 30 days.
The White House decision came following a confrontation last month between Karem, Playboy’s senior White House reporter, and Sebastian Gorka, a conservative radio talk show host who previously served in the Trump administration, when the two traded insults about bias in social media at a White House event.
Karl stressed in the WHCA statement that “We believe everyone should conduct themselves professionally at the White House.”
This is not the first such incident involving the Trump administration and the press. Last November, the White House pulled the press pass of CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta after he had a heated exchange with President Donald Trump at a news conference. A judge ordered his pass reinstated after Acosta and CNN sued.
The Trump administration last year also imposed new rules to cut down on the number of journalists eligible for “hard” passes.
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