On Wednesday, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank penned an opinion piece observing how, after 21 years of holding a White House press pass, Milbank, along with all seven of The Post’s White House correspondents, had his pass suddenly revoked.
“The White House eliminated most briefings and severely restricted access to official events. And this week came the coup de grace: After covering four presidents, I received an email informing me that Trump’s press office had revoked my White House credential,” he wrote.
The move was “part of a mass purge of ‘hard pass’ holders” following a new White House rule that disqualified “almost the entire White House press corps” from owning a pass. Officials then selected which journalists they deemed as “exceptions” from the rule. And while the other seven journalists for the Post received exemptions, Milbank didn’t.
“I strongly suspect it’s because I’m a Trump critic,” Milbank wrote. “The move is perfectly in line with Trump’s banning of certain news organizations, including The Post, from his campaign events and his threats to revoke White House credentials of journalists he doesn’t like.”
The White House declined to comment on the record on the matter.
Now, he observes, nearly every journalist in the White House press corps is treated as an “exception,” meaning that press secretary Sarah Sanders can revoke their credentials at any time—especially if the Trump administration finds them bothersome.