Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank on Wednesday said the press pass he has held for more than two decades was revoked by the Trump administration for “being a Trump critic.”
“After covering four presidents, I received an email informing me that Trump’s press office had revoked my White House credential,” Milbank explained in The Washington Post Wednesday evening.
“I’m not the only one,” he added. “I was part of a mass purge of ‘hard pass’ holders after the White House implemented a new standard that designated as unqualified almost the entire White House press corps, including all seven of The Post’s White House correspondents.”
The reporter notes that White House officials then chose which journalists would be granted special “exceptions.”
So-called hard passes allow reporters and camera crews to enter White House grounds without going through the process of having to request permission daily.
“The Post requested exceptions for its six White House reporters and for me, saying that this access is essential to our work,” Milbank adds. “The White House press office granted exceptions to the other six, but not to me. I strongly suspect it’s because I’m a Trump critic. The move is perfectly in line with Trump’s banning of certain news organizations, including The Post, from his campaign events, and his threats to revoke White House credentials of journalists he doesn’t like.”
Milbank reports it is “a clear — if nearly impossible — standard: No credentials to any journalist who is not in the building on at least 90 out of the previous 180 days — in other words, seven of every 10 workdays. The White House wouldn’t provide numbers, but it appears most of the White House press corps didn’t qualify for credentials under the new standard, including regulars for The Post and the Associated Press.”
“No one’s access is being limited,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Wednesday night in response a Milbank column published by the Post earlier in the day.