Sep 19

Sean Spicer said in December: free press the difference between ‘a democracy vs. a dictatorship’

In December, President Donald Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer was on a panel when he said keeping an open channel from the White House to the press is the difference between “a democracy vs. a dictatorship.”

Spicer barred several major U.S. media outlets from attending an informal, on-the-record White House press briefing Friday.

READ MORE: Some media blocked from White House briefing after Donald Trump attacks ‘fake news’ during CPAC speech

The list included CNN, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and Politico.

The Trump campaign was well-known for banning reporters from his campaign events for weeks at a time.

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In the most recent twist of irony for the Trump administration, Spicer was on a panel hosted by Politico’s Jake Sherman in December, where he was asked about barring reporters from attending presidential events.

Spicer said: “There’s a big difference between a campaign where it is a private venue using private funds and a government entity, and I think we have a respect for the press when it comes to the government that that is something that you can’t ban an entity from —; Conservative, Liberal or otherwise. I think that’s what makes a democracy a democracy vs. a dictatorship.”

READ MORE: Donald Trump’s old tweets about Barack Obama prove ironic again

During Spicer’s informal briefing, he denied he was playing favourites by his actions.

“We’ve brought more reporters into this process. And the idea that every time that every single person can’t get their question answered or fit in a room that we’re excluding people. We’ve actually gone above and beyond with making ourselves, our team, and our briefing room more accessible than probably any prior administration. And so I think you can take that to the bank.

READ MORE: Trump has a ‘healthy respect’ for media he called ‘enemies’: Sean Spicer

“We do what we can to accommodate the press. I think we’ve gone above and beyond when it comes to accessibility, and openness and getting folks – our officials, our team.”