If you could only use two words to describe Trump, they would have to be "petty" and "vindictive".
A White House official ordered a CNN reporter to give up her front-row seat and move to the back of the press room before President Trump’s briefing on Friday, in what appears to be another attempt by Trump to punish a network he calls “fake news."
The reporter, CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, refused to move, as did a second reporter whose seat in the rear of the room she was ordered to take. The official then suggested the matter would be resolved by the Secret Service, though no action was taken, according to several people involved in the episode.
Network reporters, including those from CNN, have assigned seats at the front of the briefing room, under a plan managed by the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) and agreed to by White House officials last month. The agreement reduced the number of reporters in the briefing room to meet social distancing requirements.
The White House’s latest effort to reorder the briefing room came after a brief verbal clash between Collins and Trump during the televised briefing on Thursday.
“No, that’s enough,” he said, adding. “The problem is, you don’t write the truth.” Collins continued to press, but Trump replied, “No, not CNN. I told you, CNN is fake news. Don’t talk to me.”
Over the WHCA’s objections and in violation of social distancing measures, the president earlier this month gave preferential access to a reporter from the One America News Network. The small cable network has a history of favoring Trump in its reporting.
One America News Network (OANN), also known as One America News (OAN), is a conservative, far-right news and opinion channel owned by Herring Networks, Inc., launched on July 4, 2013. The network is headquartered in San Diego, California, and operates news bureaus in Washington, D.C. and New York City.
The channel targets a conservative and right-of-center audience Its prime time political talk shows have a conservative perspective, and the channel regularly features pro-Donald Trump stories The channel has been noted for promoting falsehoods and conspiracy theories.
In comments on CNN last night, Jim Acosta called the White House’s tactics on the seating issue “Soviet-style [and] totalitarian-like.” He said it took “almost an act of civil disobedience [by Collins and Johnson] to foil the White House’s plans.”