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Shep Smith calls out ‘personal friend’ Bill Shine for banning CNN reporter

Shep Smith responds to White House version of ‘disinvite’ of CNN reporter

Interested in Donald Trump?

Collins wasn't just in the room with Trump and Juncker on behalf of CNN.

Reporters immediately suspected there might be more to the decision than concern for how the helicopter would perform on a day with mild conditions, blue skies, and limited cloud cover in Washington and the Maryland suburbs.

The White House statement issued yesterday said Collins was "informed...she was not welcome to participate in the next event".

There are plenty of questions Trump might want to avoid.

Reporter Kaitlan Collins said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and communications director Bill Shine told her she was banned from a late-afternoon announcement in the Rose Garden involving Trump and European Union president Jean-Claude Juncker a few hours after she sought to question Trump during a press-pool "spray" in the Oval Office. Some of her queries focused on an audio recording of Trump taken by his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, about a tabloid payment to a woman alleging an affair with Trump.

CBS News' Steven Portnoy, who was serving as the radio network pool reporter for the day, said Collins "was no less willing to leave" the office than "any other member of the larger-than-usual press contingent".

Tapper also expressed gratitude for those who came to Collins' defense like Fox News anchor Bret Baier and acknowledged how the network put out a statement "speaking for the part of the news division" that is "actually trying to do journalism" and not from those who spend "their entire time attacking the rest of us" in the media. Maybe they believe these battles are "good" for the White House. Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of the day doesn't mean the question isn't relevant and shouldn't be asked.

She and her employer, CNN, said she was barred because White House officials found her questions "inappropriate", which Mr. Gidley disputed. Shine said to reporters on Thursday, referring to Collins, standing outside the West Wing and addressing reporters standing several feet away. "This type of retaliation is wholly inappropriate, wrong-headed, and weak. It can not stand", WHCA President Olivier Knox said. "She also asked Trump if he is anxious about what might be on any other tapes recorded by Cohen, and why Russian President Vladimir Putin had not yet accepted Trump's invitation to come to Washington".

Hala Gorani, an anchor for CNN International, reacted to the fracas by tweeting, "I've reported from many countries where reporters are banned from press events for not asking softball questions and the last thing I expected was for it to happen in the United States".