White House blocks multiple news outlets from receiving press briefing

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WASHINGTON, D.C. —The White House barred several news outlets from attending an informal, on the record press briefing Friday afternoon, raising alarm among media organizations and First Amendment watchdogs, CNN reported.

CNN, The New York Times, Politico, Buzzfeed, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News were blocked from attending, CNN said on air. The Associated Press declined to attend in protest. The White House Correspondents Association has also protested.

Breitbart, Fox News, One America News Network and Washington Times were allowed in, CNN reported.

The White House canceled an on-camera press briefing scheduled for early Friday afternoon. It instead held an invite-only off-camera meeting – a “gaggle” – in the office of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

The White House defended the decision not to include some news organizations.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said: “We invited the pool so everyone was represented. We decided to add a couple of additional people beyond the pool. Nothing more than that.”

Barred media outlets protested the action.

“This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House,” CNN said in a statement. “Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don’t like.”

President Donald Trump’s campaign team previously pulled the press credentials of news organizations. He was not happy with their coverage of his campaign.

“Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post,” read a post on Trump’s Facebook page.

Trump’s team also banned Buzzfeed, Politico and The Huffington Post during the campaign.

Earlier Friday, Trump disparaged the media during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“They are the enemy of the people because they have no sources,” Trump said. “They just make them up when there are none.”

CNN and the Associated Press contributed to this report.