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Infowars Receives Temporary White House Press Pass

The right-wing, conspiracy-based web site Infowars broadcast from the White House briefing room on 22 May 2017 after announcing they had obtained a temporary press credential.

The site’s Washington D.C. bureau chief, Jerome Corsi, posted a picture of himself online inside the briefing room and also appeared on an InfoWars broadcast showing the room’s lectern and other features in order to “make it clear” that he was inside.

Another correspondent, Trey Yingst of the conservative One America News Network, noted that Corsi’s pass was only for one day. There was no briefing from White House press secretary Sean Spicer held on the day of Corsi’s broadcast, but Corsi did say that he was part of a briefing from Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney before going on the air.

Corsi also averred that he would receive weekly credentials and that “in about three months” he would apply for permanent credentials. He also described other coverage plans:

We’ve rented an office near Metro Center and are in the first days of building now what will be a Washington bureau where we plan to cover both the White House and Congress on a daily basis.

We contacted the White House press office seeking comment but have received no response. We also contacted the Capitol Hill Standing Committee of Correspondents, which approves credentials for media outlets seeking to cover Congress, but have yet to hear back from them.

In January 2017, both Corsi and Infowars founder and host Alex Jones, who vocally supported President Donald Trump’s campaign, said that Trump’s administration had offered InfoWars press credentials. The claim was rebuked by two White House spokespersons, Hope Hicks and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

In 2011, Corsi published a book propagating the false claim that President Barack Obama was born in Africa and not in the U.S. Corsi also claimed at the time that Trump had told him “his own computer expert” had determined Obama’s long-form birth certificate was computer-generated (i.e., a forgery). Trump denied making such an allegation.

Corsi’s White House appearance came nearly a month after the Standing Committee declined to extend congressional press passes for another right-wing web site, Breitbart. President Trump’s current chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is that site’s former executive chair.

Sources:

Gold, Hadas.   “Capitol Hill Correspondents Committee Declines to Credential Breitbart.”
    Politico.   25 April 2017.

Kludt, Tom and Brian Stelter.   “While Other Outlets Fact-Check Trump, Infowars Provides Alternative Facts.”
    CNN.   26 January 2017.

Warzel, Charlie.   “The White House Denies That Alex Jones Has Been Offered Press Credentials.”
    Buzzfeed.   26 January 2017.

Mencimer, Stephanie.   “Trump: Birther Jerome Corsi Got it Wrong.”
    Mother Jones.   26 May 2011.


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