On The Outside Looking In

The White House is locking down the government

by Chris Thomas

[Image via Stephen Kelly and Wikimedia Commons](https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Outside_Looking_In_-1_(12020101913) .jpg)

Once is a coincidence; twice is a pattern. The White House seems to be trying to keep the country in the dark by shutting any would-be critics out of the official business of the executive branch.

The first such incident took place earlier this week when an AP reporter was forcibly removed from an EPA building. The EPA, under the embattled administration of Scott Pruitt, apparently banned reporters from the Associated Press, CNN, and E&E News from attending the event. According to a report by the AP “EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told the barred organizations they were not invited and there was no space for them, but gave no indication of why they specifically were barred.”

EPA later walked back the “not invited” statement, suggesting that the meeting was at capacity and that AP’s exclusion was a matter of space constraints rather than an outright ban from the event. The EPA did not clarify why a space constraint caused EPA security guards to shove an AP reporter out of the building after she asked to speak with an EPA public-affairs person.

The pattern repeated itself Tuesday with the announcement that classified information regarding the investigation into Russia / Trump collusion would be made exclusively available to Republican lawmakers. Democrats, including the ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence committee, were not allowed to attend the briefing. Republican lawmakers will be briefed the FBI Director, the Director of National Intelligence, and Principle Associate Deputy Attorney General Ed O’Callaghan on the FBI’s use of an informant to assist with the investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

Tell Congress What You Think

Locking Democrats and media out of the official business of the country makes corruption more likely. Government exists to serve the people, not just the people in power. You can tell your Members of Congress your opinions about this or any other issue by texting RESISTto 50409. Or, if SMS isn’t your style, you can contact your government by talking to Resistbot on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or Twitter.

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