Washington: The White House Correspondents Association has said that the reported move by the incoming Trump administration to shift the press corps out of the White House is unacceptable.
“I made clear that the WHCA would view it as unacceptable if the incoming administration sought to move White House reporters out of the press work space behind the press briefing room,” WHCA president Jeff Mason, said in a statement after a meeting with the incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spears.
During the two hour-long meeting, Mason discussed Spear’s interest in increasing participation in White House briefings when President-elect Donald Trump takes office.
“That has sparked his team to consider moving daily briefings out of the White House’s James S Brady Press Briefing Room to a larger facility on the White House complex,” he said.
The White House Correspondents’ Association has always advocated for increasing access and transparency for the benefit of all news outlets and the public, he said.
“I emphasised the importance of the White House press briefing room and noted that it is open to all journalists who seek access now,” he said.
Mason said access in the West Wing to senior administration officials, including the press secretary, is critical to transparency and to journalists’ ability to do their jobs.
“Sean agreed to discuss any additional changes that the incoming administration considers with the WHCA ahead of time,” he said.
“I made clear that the WHCA would object, always, to a reporter being thrown out of a briefing or press conference,” Mason said.