CNN and Playboy contributor Brian Karem has been barred from the White House, his press pass suspended for a month.
Karem became the subject of news last month when he taunted Gorka in the Rose Garden, announced his temporary banishment on Twitter Friday: “Received an email today shortly before 5 p.m. from the WH: as of Monday afternoon my press pass is suspended for 30 days.”
“Yes, I can and will appeal this decision,” Karem added.
Received an email today shortly before 5 p.m. from the WH: as of Monday afternoon my press pass is suspended for 30 days.
— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) August 2, 2019
CNN reported that the White House cited Karem’s behavior at the July 11 White House social media summit. While waiting for a presidential press conference following the summit, Karem and Gorka got into a shouting match after Karem described the summit attendees as “group of people that are eager for demonic possession.”
“You’re a journalist, right?” Gorka shouted from a distance.
“C’mon over here and talk to me, brother,” Karem responded. “We can go outside and have a long conversation.”
Gorka, a former White House aide, then asked Karem if he was “threatening” him in the Rose Garden.
“You’re a punk, you’re not a journalist, you’re a punk,” Gorka yelled at Karem.
My $$$ was on Seb as I note pic.twitter.com/yXfJfOKaZT
— Jim Hanson (@Uncle_Jimbo) July 11, 2019
Gorka, a former aide to President Trump, was quick to rejoice over the decision and effused, “Thank you @realDonaldTrump, thank you @PressSec. On behalf of Americans who’ve had enough of FakeNews punks like @BrianKarem … ”
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) August 3, 2019
Karem and Playboy said they would appeal the decision.
Suspension of credentialed press by the government is incredibly concerning. We are working with our lawyers to appeal the decision to suspend @briankarem. Since 1953, Playboy has fought to protect First Amendment rights, and the fight must continue today.
— Playboy (@Playboy) August 3, 2019
Karem’s suspension is not the first for a CNN-linked journalist covering the White House. In November last year, the Trump administration pulled CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass, accusing him of “placing his hands” on a female White House intern who tried to wrestle a microphone away from him as he was haranguing Trump.
Acosta denied the accusations, while CNN argued that the suspension was nothing more than a push-back against “challenging questions” asked by their reporter. Acosta’s pass was subsequently reinstated by a federal court.