White House Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki has settled into her role well, handling questions from mainstream and conservative news outlets with equal respect. Her “Psaki Bombs” are usually reserved for Peter Doocy of Fox News, but she still manages to convey a level of dignity while speaking on behalf of the President of the United States.
But a new report indicates that Psaki has inherited an odd problem in the form of a longtime White House correspondent from an obscure Christian website that publishes little or no actual news.
Matthew Anthony Harper, a former chaplain who is the self-appointed White House correspondent for a little-known media outlet called InterMountain Christian News, says his access to administration sources is being restricted. Harper says this started last week, and now claims he is the target of a “harassment” and “intimidation” campaign crafted by White House press assistants. Harper also expects to be allowed to enter Psaki’s personal office whenever he wishes.
“Matthew Anthony Harper, a former chaplain who is the self-appointed White House correspondent for a little-known media outlet called InterMountain Christian News, says his access to administration sources is being restricted.” Jimmy Olsen of the Daily Planet is more legit. pic.twitter.com/JVVbasbQTZ
— Wayne Madsen (@WMRDC) September 21, 2021
Salon.com spoke with Harper, who told them “A Secret Service person was giving me a hard time, saying I couldn’t be there”, referring to Psaki’s office. He said the agent told him “that I didn’t have clearance,” adding that he was “confused about why I’m being banned from this.” That incident, Harper said, occurred last Wednesday, September 15th.
Harper said he now has to travel around the White House press area with an “escort,” which he claims no other reporter is compelled to do. Harper does not have a “hard” (i.e., permanent) press pass, and says the White House took this measure as part of a systematic “harassment and intimidation” campaign by the Biden administration over his specific questions about “human rights.” He added, “I know they’re singling me out.”
Harper believes there is only one way to get to the bottom of this convoluted tale: through a broad investigation into alleged White House wrongdoing. He sent what he calls a formal “complaint” by email to Psaki and press office chief of staff Amanda Finney last Thursday, calling for them to investigate their own operation. Other established White House reporters who spoke with Salon, as well as other sources familiar with the matter, said that Harper was only recently prevented from “floating” around Psaki’s office in the “upper press” area of the White House. That is not customary for reporters without a hard press pass, which Harper does not possess.
Read the full report at Salon.