Brian Karem, the chief White House correspondent for Playboy magazine, famously went after Salem Radio Network host Sebastian Gorka in the Rose Garden at the “Social Media Summit” on July 11.
Now, the White House has revoked Karem’s press pass for 30 days in what he is calling an “anti-First Amendment move.” The suspension begins Monday, Karem told The Washington Post, and is because of the altercation between Karem and former White House aide Sebastian Gorka.
The White House wrote that Karem “failed to abide by basic norms of decorum and order” on July 11, Karem said. The letter further suggested that Karem had been rude to Gorka — “a guest of the president.”
But Karem told The Washington Post he thinks the move was retaliation by the White House for his tough questioning of President Trump. He said his attorney will appeal the suspension Monday.
Karem told the Post that the White House told him about the suspension on Friday afternoon, just hours after President Trump fielded several of his questions.
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“They’re claiming [the reason is] something that happened 21 days ago. I’m there every day. If this was an issue, it should’ve been brought to my attention long before now,” Karem told the Post. “I know what they say the issue is, but that’s not the real issue, or they could’ve talked to me at any point in time prior to now. As a matter of record, they never spoke to me once about it.”
Received an email today shortly before 5 p.m. from the WH: as of Monday afternoon my press pass is suspended for 30 days.
— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) August 2, 2019
Late Friday, Playboy called Karem’s suspension “incredibly concerning.”
“Suspension of credentialed press by the government is incredibly concerning. We are working with our lawyers to appeal the decision to suspend @briankarem. Since 1953, Playboy has fought to protect First Amendment rights, and the fight must continue today.”
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This is not the first White House reporter to lose their credentials for questioning President Donald Trump.
In November, the White House revoked CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass after he had a heated exchange with Trump.