CNN, New York Times barred from White House press briefing

WASHINGTON — Several news organizations were barred Friday from attending a White House press briefing, including CNN, The New York Times, Politico and The Hill.

The Hill reported that the blocked organizations also included the Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed News, the Daily Mail, BBC News and the New York Daily News.

>> Read more trending stories

White House press secretary Sean Spicer decided against holding a traditional press briefing on Friday afternoon in favor of a smaller question-and-answer session known as a "gaggle," according to The Hill.

Spicer allowed several conservative-leaning news outlets to attend the gaggle, along with the major television news networks. Among the groups granted entry to the question-and-answer session were Breitbart News, the One America News Network and the Washington Times, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Also included were reporters from major television networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, and national wire services like Reuters and Bloomberg, The Hill reported. The Associated Press and Time were allowed in but boycotted it "because of the way it was handled," BuzzFeed reported.

During a panel discussion last December, Spicer said that open access for the media is "what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship."

In a statement, White House Correspondents' Association president Jeff Mason condemned the decision to include some organizations while excluding others.

"The WHCA Board is protesting strongly against how today's gaggle is being handled by the White House," Mason said. "The board will be discussing this further with White House staff."

CNN called the decision "unacceptable" in a statement and blamed the administration's anger over recent news stories for the situation.

"Apparently, this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don't like," the statement said. "We'll keep reporting regardless."

News organizations were blocked from the gaggle just hours after President Donald Trump took to the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference and denounced what he deemed to be irresponsible news reporting.

"We are fighting the fake news. It's fake. Phony. Fake," he said. "A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are. They are the enemy of the people. … They make up sources. They're very dishonest people."

The Associated Press contributed to this report