Yesterday, President Trump fired his first shot at the left and banned CNN from the traditional pre-SOTU media lunch.
Usually, the big media outlets get a slight preview of the speech and topics to be discussed in an off-the-record setting, but not CNN this year.
CNN reported that President Donald Trump’s targeting of their network moved to another arena: The annual presidential lunch with television network anchors.
CNN anchors were being excluded from Tuesday’s lunch, three sources said on Monday night.
Trump, like presidents before him, typically invites anchors from all the major networks to dine with him at the White House in advance of his State of the Union address.
The lunch conversation is considered off the record, but it gives the anchors a sense of the president’s state of mind before they anchor SOTU coverage. “Despite Trump’s persistent attacks on the news media, he’s kept up such traditions,” Politico pointed out last year.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer attended the lunch last year. Blitzer has been attending these lunches longer than almost any other anchor — 20 years in a row.
Journalists from other networks attended Tuesday’s session, according to sources at those networks. This is the first time in recent memory that a president has singled out one network and opted not invite any anchors from there.