Scaramucci Slams WH Barring Kaitlan Collins: 1st Amendment Gives Reporters the Right to Ask Questions
Anthony Scaramucci slammed the White House’s decision to choke press freedoms and bar CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from a Rose Garden press conference last week, calling it unhelpful to President Donald Trump and just plain wrong.
“I don’t know this for a fact, but that probably came from the president,” Scaramucci told Jake Tapper in an interview Sunday. “He likes to be respected. He was probably frustrated at that moment. What I would do in a situation like that is I’d pull a tape of questions that Sam Donaldson screamed at Ronald Reagan and go right through the last 30 years of pool reporters asking questions that presidents probably think are obnoxious or untoward or disrespectful questions and just point out that she was doing her job.”
Scaramucci, whose White House tenure famously lasted less than two weeks, recommended Collins be taken “out of the penalty box,” adding that “having a war declaration or having that level of antagonism with the president does not help the president, does not serve his interests going into the midterms or the re-election.”
It was yet another show of solidarity with Collins, who’s received support from both sides of the aisle, including from Fox News following her banishment Wednesday.
“I understand the frustration and I understand his personality where he likes to punch back and be combative,” Scaramucci said, speaking about Trump. “But what I think that also does, and I think you’ll agree with me, it galvanizes the president vis-a-vis the White House.”
Scaramucci then pointed to growing unity among reporters, noting The Hill’s Jordan Fabian yielded the floor of Press Secretary Sarah Sanders‘ press briefing earlier this month to NBC’s Hallie Jackson after Sanders attempted to evade her question. For the ousted communications director, it was a concerning sign of teamwork being fostered by the administration’s aggressively anti-media posture.
“The First Amendment gives these reporters the right to do that,” Saramucci said to Tapper, discussing Collins’ line of questioning with which the White House apparently took issue. “By the way, your predecessors, many of which you respected, take a look at the tape. This is what all these reporters have been doing for 30 or 40 years.”
Watch the clip above via CNN.
[Image via screengrab]
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