President Trump has excluded CNN anchors from the annual State of the Union media lunch. Last year, Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer attended and Blitzer has attended 20 years in a row.
Brian Stelter of CNN wrote President Donald Trump’s targeting of CNN is moving to yet another arena:
The annual presidential lunch with television network anchors.
CNN anchors are being excluded from Tuesday’s lunch, three sources said on Monday night.
Trump, like presidents before him, typically invites anchors from all the major networks to dine with him at the White House in advance of his State of the Union address.
The lunch conversation is considered off the record, but it gives the anchors a sense of the president’s state of mind before they anchor SOTU coverage.
“Despite Trump’s persistent attacks on the news media, he’s kept up such traditions,” Politico pointed out last year.
TheHill reports 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.