CNN and The New York Times Friday were relegated to the outer ends of the press corps during President Donald Trump's press conference in the White House Rose Garden with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
Peter Baker, the Times' chief White House correspondent, was assigned to the back row of the press corps, The New York Post reports.
The day before, former FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that a Times report in February about alleged contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign was "not true."
"In the main, it was not true," Comey told senators of the Feb. 14 article, based on anonymous sources.
The report said that Trump associates had "repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election."
"The challenge, and I'm not picking on reporters, about writing stories about classified information is the people talking about it often don't really know what's going on and those of us who actually know what's going on are not talking about it," Comey told the committee.
"And we don't call the press and say, 'Hey, you got that thing wrong.'"
The Times said late Thursday that it would review any information that might negate the original story, noting that "neither the FBI, nor Mr. Comey would comment or elaborate on what Mr. Comey believes to be incorrect."
A White House official declined to comment to the Post on the seating arrangements.
Regarding CNN, senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta told host Wolf Blitzer that the cable network was placed "several rows behind the president and behind the Romanian press as well.
"We are in the equivalent of Siberia," he told Blitzer. "No pun intended, when it comes to where we were seated in the audience section of the press section of that Rose Garden news conference."
Acosta called the assignment "highly irregular — and that could be an oversight on the part of the White House staff.
"But it could also be seen as retaliation for reporting that we are doing here at CNN.
"If it is retaliation, that's not going to deter us from what we are doing here," he warned.
Still, "it felt like we were being put in time-out, quite honestly" Acosta told Blitzer.
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