W.H. Press Briefing Gets Tense As Sanders, Dressed For Death, Flails Like A Fish (VIDEO)

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The swamp creatures have climbed out of the swamp and found a comfortable home in the Donald Trump White House. Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, has been among the worst offenders. Yet, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders found a way to let him slither past the reporters unscathed.

During the regular White House press briefing, a reporter asked Sanders about an earlier incident where the EPA blocked reporters from coming into one of the agency hearings. The press secretary replied that she would “look into” it, the YouTube of the briefing showed:

‘Certainly we’ll look into the matter. I know EPA has put out a statement, at this point I’d refer you to them as we look into the incident. I can’t speak to a situation I don’t have a lot of visibility into.’

As the briefing progressed, another journalist asked her whether there would ever be circumstances where it would be acceptable to physically turn away reporters. Sanders replied:

‘I’m not going to weigh into random hypotheticals that may or may not exist. I don’t know any information about this specific incident. You’re asking me to speak to blanket possibilities, which I’m not going to do.’

Earlier in the day, the EPA let a small group of reporters enter a hearing on chemicals tied to cancer. They included one reporter from The Hill.

Strikingly, the EPA barred reporters  from CNN, E&E News, and The Associated Press (AP) from the event.  USA TODAY reported that EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox sent an email stating that the room was filled to capacity “which reporters were aware of prior to the event:”

‘We were able to accommodate 10 reporters, provided a livestream for those we could not accommodate and were unaware of the individual situation that has been reported.’

EE News reporter, Corbin Hiar, tweeted:

‘This morning’s PFAS Leadership Summit at @EPA headquarters is open to the press… just not to reporters from @EENewsUpdates, @AP or @CNN. We’ve all asked the agency’s press office why we’re being selectively shut out and have gotten no responses.’

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The EPA described the conference last March as a summit to gather all stakeholders together for the purpose of discussions on man-made chemicals (per- and polyfluoralkyl substances/PFAS). These chemicals were used to produce stain-resistant, waterproof, or nonstick products.

Pruitt noted:

‘EPA’s leadership summit will bring together stakeholders from across the country to build on the steps we are already taking and to identify immediate actions to protect public health.’

After one AP journalist asked to talk to the EPA public affairs spokesperson, she reported that the guards physically blocked her from coming inside by grabbing her by the shoulders.

The press was outraged at this unprecedented turn of events. Eventually, the EPA changed its mind and let all of the journalists into the second half of the summit.

Trump has threatened with some frequency to ban reporters who printed negative articles about him, or as he calls it — “fake news.”

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According to USA TODAY, AP Executive Editor Sally Buzbee released a statement that read:

‘The Environmental Protection Agency’s selective barring of news organizations, including the AP, from covering today’s meeting is alarming and a direct threat to the public’s right to know about what is happening inside their government. It is particularly distressing that any journalist trying to cover an event in the public interest would be forcibly removed.’

CNN also released a statement confirming its reporter was not allowed entrance “after multiple attempts to attend,” the Boston Globe reported:

‘‘We understand the importance of an open and free press and we hope the EPA does, too.’

Later, Wilcox announced the press could attend the second half of the summit. He also noted that the first half of the summit was livestreamed.

Featured Image via Getty Images/Alex Wong.