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CNNs Zeleny: Largely Irrelevant Whether Media Allowed in Border Facilities

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On Thursday’s “CNN Newsroom,” CNN Chief National Affairs Correspondent Jeff Zeleny said that the White House is “hiding behind the rules of COVID” to deny media access to facilities on the border, but whether the media is let in is “largely irrelevant. Because members of Congress, on both sides, have made clear that the images that they have seen there are unacceptable.”

Host Jake Tapper said, “[O]ne of the things that President Biden said that was kind of surprising in terms of whether or not he would allow news media into the facilities where this humanitarian crisis is going on, where all these unaccompanied migrant children and teenagers are, is basically he said, and I’m — this is a generous paraphrase, but it’s along the lines of, once we’ve fixed it, we’re going to let you in to see it. But we’re not going to let you in to see it, news media and therefore the American people, until we’ve fixed the problem. Not really in keeping with the transparency that he promised in terms of leveling with the American people.”

Zeleny responded, “Well, Jake, I mean, the reality is, whether they let the news media in so the public can see, we should always point out that’s what this is about, the American people being able to see their government at work here, whether he does that or not, it’s largely irrelevant. Because members of Congress, on both sides, have made clear that the images that they have seen there are unacceptable. In fact, President Biden said himself the images he has seen in briefings are unacceptable. So, you know, the question is, will the White House keep hiding behind the rules of COVID and other matters of not allowing some type of access? We’ll see if they’re able to sort of keep that up, but the reality is, there are enough eyeballs there that people are raising a stink about this, both Democrats and Republicans.”

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Zeleny later added, “[C]learly, whether they open these or not, people are going to see what’s going on in there, Jake.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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