A list of invitees at an EPA event Tuesday discussing contaminants in drinking water included The Washington Post but did not include two other major outlets claiming to have been barred from the summit.
The list included household names like WaPo, The Wall Street Journal, CBS News and Politico, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned. But CNN and AP were left off the list — both outlets allege they were barred from attending the event. E&E News was also not invited.
There was “simply an issue of the room reaching capacity,” EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told TheDCNF after the incident. He added: “Last night, The Associated Press was told we were at capacity and a livestream would be available, but [they] proceeded to push through the security entrance.”
Members of the media who were not invited could attend the event once seats became available. A security guard grabbed one of AP’s reporters by the shoulders and escorted her out of the forum, the news outlet claimed.
AP Journalist Ellen Knickmeyer said an adviser to Administrator Scott Pruitt later called to apologize for how she was treated and promised to investigate the incident. He invited her for the meeting’s afternoon session. She was later allowed back into the event.
“We are pleased that the EPA has reconsidered its decision and will now allow AP to attend the remainder of today’s meeting,” AP spokeswoman Lauren Easton said. “The AP looks forward to informing the public of the important discussions at the water contaminants summit.”
TheDCNF reporter Jason Hopkins was also at the event and witnessed a reporter trying to gain entry, but he did not see security guards physically confront any other journalists.
“I was there,” Hopkins said. “No one ‘forcibly’ grabbed her. She wasn’t on the list but felt she was too special for the rules and simply refused to leave, despite being asked numerous times to do so. After 10 minutes of stonewalling, the police told her if she didn’t leave, they would make her leave.” (RELATED: Eyewitness Says AP Story About Reporter Being Roughed Up At EPA Event Is Overblown)
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