The White House has issued a public warning against the media in an effort to undermine their reporting of the Trump administration’s dealings with the Russia investigation, which the administration has refused to reveal.
“This week, the administration continues to resist a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee request for access to classified information,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Thursday, saying the White House “will not tolerate a hostile press corps.”
In a letter dated Thursday, Earnest wrote to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Paul Ryan asking them to allow the Senate Intelligence panel to “inspect documents and records related to the Russia probe,” which is ongoing.
The White House is trying to prevent the release of the documents through a lawsuit filed by the committee, which is led by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who represents a swing district in the state.
“While the White [House] does not comment on pending litigation, the Department of Justice will continue to vigorously defend against any attempts to block or hinder the Senate and House investigations,” Earnest said in the letter.
The administration’s refusal to release the documents has already triggered protests at Capitol Hill.
Schumer and Ryan issued a joint statement late Thursday saying the administration “should not be making this type of move without first seeking congressional authorization.”
A spokesman for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.