The White House on Friday blocked several major media organizations, including The New York Times, CNN and The Huffington Post, from attending an off-camera press briefing, held in lieu of the daily televised news conference.
And CNN anchor Jake Tapper did not take the unprecedented move lightly.
Before his report on President Donald Trump’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Tapper took some time on CNN’s “The Lead” to break down why it’s such a problem that the White House barred certain media.
“Let’s not make any mistake about what’s happening here,” Tapper said.
“It’s not acceptable. In fact, it’s petulant,” he continued. He suggested the White House has difficulty telling the truth and referenced Trump calling the press the “enemy of the American people.”
Tapper then used White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s own words against him, cutting to a 2016 quote from Spicer promising that the White House wouldn’t ban media from government access.
“I think that’s what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship,” Spicer said in December.
Then, Tapper boiled it all down to the Trump administration’s values.
“The White House does not seem to respect the idea of accountability. This White House does not seem to value an independent press,” he said.
“There is a word for that line of thinking,” Tapper concluded. “The word is un-American.”
Watch Tapper’s message below.