Conservative media figures were frustrated by their treatment by the Trump administration after they were invited to the White House.
About 30 reporters, editors and radio hosts were invited to the White House on Monday night for a background briefing with President Donald Trump and some of his top aides, but they complained afterward that the event was poorly planned, reported The Hill.
The group was asked to turn over their cell phones before meeting with White House officials in the Roosevelt Room, which is used for viewing classified information.
The meeting was supposed to be off-the-record, which means they couldn’t attribute quotes gathered during the event, but were told after turning over their phones that they could quote Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
That led to a mad scramble to retrieve phones from the lockers where they were stored to report that Trump would institute new tariffs on some lumber imported from Canada.
“This is what happens when Never Trump, low-energy, Jeb Bush staffers infiltrate Donald Trump’s White House,” one source told The Hill. “The incompetence by the White House press staff does not serve the president’s interests well.”
Conservative media outlets have accused Trump and his White House of a double standard.
They say the administration complains about the mainstream media in public, but Trump routinely calls reporters from those outlets and meets with them for exclusive interviews.
“They packed us in a room and made us fight for scraps,” one source told The Hill. “It’s not exclusive if you give it to 40 journalists and then make us fight over it. Did [New York Times reporters] Maggie Haberman or Glenn Thrush have to surrender their cell phones for their interview? The White House would be better served if they called on us one by one like he does with them.”