Sanders claimed that Collins had “shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so” at the press event.
“To be clear, we support a free press and ask that everyone be respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House,” she added.
Sanders’s statement prompted Peter Baker, the Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times, to say that if shouting questions and refusing to leave are the standards of decorum by which White House press briefings are to be judged, then Sanders would have to “bar every member of the press pool.”
In statement, White House @PressSec acknowledges barring CNN reporter @kaitlancollins because she “shouted questions and refused to leave” Oval Office at end of pool spray. If that’s the standard, they will have to bar every member of the press pool since that’s what all of us do
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) July 25, 2018
Toluse Olorunnipa, a reporter with Bloomberg News deemed Sanders’s statement false.
.@PressSec is continuing to malign @kaitlancollins with a false statement saying she "refused to leave" the Oval Office after a press event. I was there.
I saw reporters doing their jobs and asking questions of the president, then leaving w/o incident. pic.twitter.com/I1nbGr8DwT
— Toluse Olorunnipa (@ToluseO) July 25, 2018
Rex Huppke, a Chicago Tribune humor columnist went even further, saying that Republicans should “immediately call” for Sanders and Bill Shine to tender their resignations.
If congressional Republicans had even a remnant of a spine or a scrap of devotion to democracy, they would immediately call for Bill Shine and Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be fired for barring @kaitlancollins from an open press event. We pay their salaries, and this is a disgrace.
— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) July 25, 2018
There has, unsurprisingly, been silence from Republicans on both the decision and justifications by the White House to ban Collins from the Rose Garden event.