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“It’s no secret that President Trump and his Administration hate the fact-based media. They have bizarrely labeled the press as ‘the opposition party’ and openly criticized reporters for fairly reporting on the Administration’s many blunders, missteps, and abuses of power in its first few weeks. 

“Yesterday, the White House escalated its attacks on our free press to unacceptable levels. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus reportedly sought to cajole the FBI into quashing stories about the Trump Administration’s connections to Russia. Administration officials should be investigated and held accountable for meddling into an ongoing federal investigation of enormous national importance. 

“Later, Press Secretary Sean Spicer barred journalists from major news outlets including the New York Times, CNN, Politico, and the LA Times from attending an on-the-record briefing while including right-wing news outlets friendly to the Trump Administration. That is not a mere deviation from protocol; it is a calculated effort to stifle the truth and keep the White House’s failures from going public. 

“Freedom of the press is a foundational principle of a democratic society, and any attempt to undermine it is an attack on democracy itself.”