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White House Bars Major News Outlets From Informal Briefing

Pablo Martinez Monsivais /AP

President Donald Trump looks at reporters during a news conference, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais /AP

(AP) - News organizations including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN and Politico were blocked from joining an informal, on the record White House press briefing on Friday.

Several news organizations were allowed in, including the conservative website Breitbart News. The site's former executive chairman, Steve Bannon, is chief strategist to President Donald Trump.

The Associated Press chose not to participate in the gaggle following the move by White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Lauren Easton, the AP's director of media relations, said in a statement, "The AP believes the public should have as much access to the president as possible."

The White House defended the decision not to include some news organizations.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said: "We invited the pool so everyone was represented. We decided to add a couple of additional people beyond the pool. Nothing more than that."

Barred media outlets protested the action.

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