White House Correspondents' Association rebukes Trump over tweet on press credentials

The White House Correspondents’ Association fired back at President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcConnell trolls Blankenship on Twitter: ‘Thanks for playing, Don’ Pittenger loses GOP primary fight Blankenship concedes GOP Senate primary in W. Va. MORE on Wednesday after he suggested revoking press credentials for journalists who cover his administration critically. 

“Some may excuse the president’s inflammatory rhetoric about the media, but just because the president does not like news coverage does not make it fake,” Margaret Talev, the group’s president and a White House correspondent for Bloomberg, said in a statement.

“A free press must be able to report on the good, the bad, the momentous and the mundane, without fear or favor,” she continued. “And a president preventing a free and independent press from covering the workings of our republic would be an unconscionable assault on the First Amendment.”

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The rebuke from Talev came hours after Trump complained on Twitter about unflattering coverage of his administration, accused the media of being “corrupt” and suggested that the White House could revoke credentials as punishment.

“The Fake News is working overtime,” he tweeted. “Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?”

Trump has long directed his ire at the news media, and has floated ideas such as cancelling the daily press briefings at the White House and opening up libel laws to make it easier to sue news outlets and reporters. 

Taking away press credentials, however, would be unprecedented and would drastically restrict correspondents’ access to the White House grounds and press briefings, among other things.

The WHCA itself came under fire late last month after Talev issued a statement denouncing comedian Michelle Wolf’s performance at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Critics, including many journalists, accused the organization of hypocrisy for criticizing the comedian, while claiming to defend free speech.