CNN Denies Request From White House Press Pool To Report From The Debate Studio

The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) asked CNN to permit a pool reporter to cover the whole Thursday night debate between President Biden and former President Trump. However, CNN declined the request.


“WHCA is deeply concerned that CNN has rejected our repeated requests to include the White House travel pool inside the studio. Through conversations and advocacy, we urged CNN to grant access to at least one print pool reporter for the duration of the debate,” said Kelly O’Donnell, an NBC News reporter and the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association.

“A pool reporter is present to provide context and insight by direct observation and not through the lens of the television production. A pool reporter is an independent observer whose duties are separate from the production of the debate as a news event.”

Yet, the association still noted that CNN “is a good citizen of our association and a vital partner in the daily coverage of the White House press corps,” according to the WHCA.

“We recognize CNN is investing significant resources to host this debate, and we wish them every success,” O’Donnell continued. “WHCA respectfully requests that CNN adjust its plan and welcome the White House travel pool print representative to witness the debate in full for the sake of the news cycle, for history, and, most importantly, for the American people.”

However, the WHCA’s request was further denied by CNN, which vaguely stated that the network “respect[s] the role the organization plays and their support for press freedom and access.”

CNN’s Presidential Debate is being held without an audience in a CNN studio and is closed to press,” the network added. “The feed was made available to Washington Pool Members, Washington Pool subscribers and CNN Affiliates, and is also available to embed via CNN’s YouTube channel without charge for digital outlets and is available on”

“In addition, CNN is providing access to the debate hall for the designated print pool reporter during the first commercial break to allow them to provide a pool report from inside the debate studio,” the CNN spokesperson added.

In the days leading up to the debate, the left-wing network has been under heavy scrutiny regarding the conditions it has set for both candidates and the moderators it has authorized to cover the event, as both moderators have a lengthy history of condemning Trump.

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Moderator Jake Tapper has previously compared Trump to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Another debate moderator, Dana Bash, was also previously married to Jeremy Bash, one of the former CIA contractors who signed a letter that falsely claimed Hunter Biden’s controversial laptop had the earmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign.

“Fellow letter-signer Jeremy Bash is identified in the second table as an ‘independent contractor’ as well — serving as a “contractor/green badge” holder from April 2, 2019, through April 1, 2022, with a brief gap before receiving a new deal beginning in August 2022,” according to the House Judiciary Committee and New York Post.

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