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White House Correspondents’ Association: We don’t defend the White House

White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) President Jeff Mason in an interview on Sunday said it is not the job of the association to defend the White House, despite a previous call from the Trump administration for him to do so.

Mason during a segment on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” clarified an anecdote he shared last week during a town hall, in which he described an instance where the White House asked him to push back on a reporter’s article. 

“It was regarding a story that had been written about the press, and the White House called, was upset about that story and asked me, on behalf of the correspondents’ association, to release a statement essentially defending the White House,” Mason explained. 

Mason said he denied the White House’s request. 

“And that would have been, in my view, the same really as criticizing the reporter and criticizing the story,” Mason continued. 

“And I said no. That’s just not something that we do. That’s not a role that we play.” 

The story in question, Mason confirmed, was by a Politico reporter, Tara Palmeri, who also appeared in the CNN segment with Mason. It focused on a lack of White House press access.


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