Fox News surprised many in the media on Wednesday when they announced their support for CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins, who was banned from the White House earlier in the day.
“We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press,” Fox News president Jay Wallace said in a statement issued Wednesday evening.
Collins said the White House denied her access to Trump’s Rose Garden joint statement on trade with European Union Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker because her earlier questions were deemed “inappropriate.
Those questions centered around the leaked audio tapes between Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen in which they were apparently discussing a payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal. McDougal claims to have had an affair with Trump in 2006.
“Did Michael Cohen betray you, Mr. President?” Collins could be heard asking Trump in a video of the event. “Mr. President, did Michael Cohen betray you? Mr. President, are you worried about what Michael Cohen is going to say to prosecutors?”
CNN issued a statement supporting Collins and criticizing the White House for its actions.
“Today, CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins was denied access to cover an open press event at The White House. After posing questions to President Trump earlier in the day as the network pool reporter, Collins was told by White House deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Sanders that her questions were ‘inappropriate.’ They were not. Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of day doesn’t mean the question isn’t relevant and shouldn’t be asked.”
“This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better.”