The White House has excluded CNN anchors from attending a private annual lunch it hosts on the day of the State of the Union, according to three unnamed sources in a network report.
Trump has often had a contentious relationship with the media and CNN in particular.
In the past, the president has referred to CNN as “fake news,” and some of his rally attendees have chanted “CNN sucks” when Trump broaches the subject of the media.
According to the network,
the lunch is a time for “off the record” discussion and for the journalists to get a sense of what the president is thinking before he addresses the nation that evening. However, this will not be the case for members of CNN’s news team this year.
Two of the network’s current anchors, Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer, were invited to and attended the 2019 lunch, and Blitzer has attended the lunch 20 years in a row, according to the network.
In late 2018, the White House pulled correspondent Jim Acosta
‘s press pass after another testy interaction during a presidential press conference.
After asking several questions and Trump attempting to move on to another reporter, a White House intern attempted to take a microphone from Acosta, which he initially refused to give up.
The administration went on to pull Acosta’s White House hard pass, but it was reinstated by a federal judge a short time later after the network sued the White House over the decision in November 2018.
The president has not appeared on the network for an interview since taking office. His last interview occurred in August 2016 during his presidential campaign.
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.