Appearing on MSNBC, Politico White House reporter Tara Palmeri said she was barred by an aide from a press gathering on Friday and told “You’re threatening me” when she asked why she was being excluded.
Admitting that the press secretaries in the past have held “gaggles” with select reporters, Palmeri said she was stunned when she was denied access.
“I didn’t personally see it coming,” Palmeri confessed. “I thought it was strange yesterday when they changed on-camera gaggle to an off-camera gaggle in the spokesperson’s office.”
“But I think the thing that was most jarring to me was when were trying to make our way into Sean Spicer’s office, that the person who was sort of shepherding us in, said to some outlets, ‘absolutely, absolutely,’ and was cold to some others,” she continued. “When I asked can I have a statement about why this is happening, because I thought it was unusual, the word that came out of this aide’s mouth was, ‘you’re threatening me.'”
According to Palmeri, she thinks the shunning of media organizations — including CNN and Buzzfeed — viewed by the Trump administration as unfavorable was part of a bigger plan to make it the story of the day.
“I think this was all a very big distraction, a way for the media to focus on themselves instead of the real story that was out yesterday which is that the chief of staff to the president, Reince Priebus, asked the FBI to try to kill stories about the fact that there were communications between campaign aides and high level Russian officials,” Palmeri explained. “That was the story of the day. But instead, by blocking media, the story became about the assault on the First Amendment.”
Watch the video below via MSNBC: