Mike Rogers, a former Republican member of Congress and a member of President Donald Trump's transition team, criticized the White House on Friday for excluding journalists from leading media outlets from the daily press briefing. Rogers, who is from Michigan and was the head of the House Intel Committee, was one of the first voices from within the Republican Party to criticize the White House for its treatment of the press.
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Rogers tweeted that the White House's "exclusion of the press is wrong. It was wrong when Obama did it to Fox News and it’s wrong for Trump to do to NY Times, Politico and CNN." Rogers also quoted Thomas Jefferson, who wrote that "Our libertycannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.”
A veteran of the FBI and a leading voice in Congress on national security issues during his 14-year tenure Rogers advised Trump's transition team for several months on intelligence and defense issues in the lead-up to the election. He left the transition team in a surprise shake-up mid-November 2016, just a week after Trump won the election.
Earlier on Friday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held an off-camera press briefing instead of his daily briefing which is usually broadcast live from the White House. In a decision that drew criticism from many journalists, Spicer kept a number of leading national U.S. media outlets out of the briefing, including CNN, the New York Times, the L.A. Times and Politico.
In December, Spicer was asked during an interview with Fox News if the Trump White House would allow full press access to journalists from outlets that are more critical of Trump. He replied that such outlets would "absolutely" continue to have full access.