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White House bars CNN from press briefing

President Donald Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer, reportedly told security aides to allow only reporters from a carefully selected news organizations into the briefing.

US President Donald Trump and his administration are on the defensive against allegations of improper links to Russia

President  Donald Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer, reportedly told security aides to allow only reporters from a carefully selected news organizations into the briefing.

Some of the news media allowed in include Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times, all with conservative leanings.

Journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Fox News also attended.

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But reporters from Time magazine and The Associated Press, who were going to be allowed to attend the briefing, refused to be part of it in protest of the White House's action.

Condemning the action in a statement, the executive editor of The Times said it is the first time something like that would happen at the White House.

He said: "Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties.

"We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest."

The White House Correspondents' Association (W.H.C.A) also condemned the action.

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"The W.H.C.A. board is protesting strongly against how today’s gaggle is being handled by the White House," the association president, Jeff Mason, said in a statement.

"We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff."

The action came after Trump slammed the news media in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

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