AP Reporter ‘Physically Shoved’ Out of Event With Embattled EPA Chief Scott Pruitt
Journalists from three news organizations were forced out of an event Tuesday where Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was scheduled to speak.
Reporters from the Associated Press, CNN, and online environmentally focused outlet E&E News were barred from the event on water contaminants because of what EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said was a lack of sufficient space. CNN’s Oliver Darcy reports that the AP reporter was “physically shoved.”
“This was simply an issue of the room reaching capacity, which reporters were aware of prior to the event. We were able to accommodate 10 reporters, provided a live stream for those we could not accommodate and were unaware of the individual situation that has been reported,” Wilcox said, according to NBC News.
As The Hill reported Tuesday, several seats inside the room from where the reporters had been barred were open, since some reporters who had been invited to the event decided not to attend.
Associated Press Executive Editor Sally Buzbee said that not only was the AP reporter not allowed to enter the room, but that the reporter was “forcibly removed” after asking to talk with a spokesperson.
“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,” Buzbee said.
Tuesday’s incident is the latest public relations nightmare for the already embattled and scarred Pruitt, who currently faces multiple investigations into his questionable behavior and spending.
Watch above, via CNN.
CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this post erroneously stated that Darcy reported that the reporters from all the outlets were physically shoved. It was only the AP reporter.
[featured image via Getty]
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