White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders revoked numerous press passes from reporters after imposing new rules that disqualify “almost the entire White House press corps” from obtaining a permanent “hard pass,” according to The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank.
“After covering four presidents, I received an email informing me that Trump’s press office had revoked my White House credential,” Milbank wrote Wednesday.
“I’m not the only one. I was part of a mass purge of ‘hard pass’ holders after the White House implemented a new standard that designated as unqualified almost the entire White House press corps, including all seven of The Post’s White House correspondents,” he wrote. “White House officials then chose which journalists would be granted ‘exceptions.’ It did this over objections from news organizations and the White House Correspondents’ Association.”
Milbank wrote that he believes he was denied an exception because he is a “Trump critic.”
Milbank wrote that “virtually the entire White House press corps” is now “credentialed under ‘exceptions’ which means, in a sense, that they all serve at the pleasure of press secretary Sarah Sanders because they all fail to meet credentialing requirements — and therefore, in theory, can have their credentials revoked any time they annoy Trump or his aides.”
New rules come in response to Jim Acosta:
The White House last year revoked CNN’s Jim Acosta’s press pass. A federal judge ordered the White House to restore his credentials, noting that the White House lacked a process for revoking the pass.
In what appears to be a response to the ruling, the White House created a “nearly impossible” standard, Milbank wrote, “no credentials to any journalist who is not in the building on at least 90 out of the previous 180 days — in other words, seven of every 10 workdays.”
Milbank noted that Trump, who lives at the White House, is barely at the White House that much.
Milbank added that “the victims hurt most were freelance camera operators and technicians who now could lose their livelihood.”
Sanders denied that the move was in response to the Acosta debacle and insisted that no one’s “access is being restricted.”
Without a hard pass, journalists must apply for a new press pass every day they need to visit the White House.