The White House has placed a temporary ban on all members of the administration from appearing on CNN, a network that President Donald Trump himself denounced as “fake news.”
“We’re sending surrogates to places where we think it makes sense to promote our agenda,” said a White House official to Politico.
During a Jan. 12 press conference, the New York Post reports that Trump slammed CNN and BuzzFeed for reporting on a top-secret dossier that allegedly proved that Trump had personal ties to Russia.
CNN initially reported that Trump received a two-page intelligence briefing on the information contained in the dossier. Shortly after, BuzzFeed published the entire document, noting that much of the information was not confirmed and cannot be verified.
During the press conference, when a CNN reporter attempted to ask a question, Trump intentionally skipped over him, calling his organization “terrible.”
“Don’t be rude,” said Trump. “Don’t be rude. No, I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news!”
Trump is continuing to freeze out CNN and is now preventing White House officials from speaking to the network. A CNN reporter told Politico that the move was a way to punish the organization and ensure that the network would have low ratings.
“They’re trying to cull CNN from the herd,” said the reporter.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer denied reports that the Trump administration is freezing out the network, saying that he answers CNN’s questions during daily briefings.
However, he went on to say that he is “not going to sit around and engage with people who have no desire to actually get something right.”
The last time a White House official appeared on CNN was on Jan. 8. CNN Presidetn Jeff Zucker isn’t too worried about the freeze-out, saying that the network’s ratings and its credibility are “higher than ever.”
“One of the things I think this administration hasn’t figured out yet is that there’s only one television network that is seen in Beijing, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, Pyongyang, Baghdad, Tehran, and Damascus — and that’s CNN,” he said.
Sources: New York Post, Politico / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr