President Joe Biden
responded on Friday to reports that the former administration secretly obtained records from a Pentagon reporter during Donald Trump
“Absolutely, positively, it is wrong,” Biden told CNN
’s Kaitlan Collins at the White House
, where he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in were holding a joint press conference.
“It’s simply, simply wrong,” he continued, adding that he would “not let that happen” under his command.
“It’s simply, simply wrong, and I will not allow it,” President Biden says of the Justice Department
seizing reporter records. pic.twitter.com/bRL88NssMr — Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 21, 2021
Biden's remarks came after a CNN report revealed that Trump's Justice Department had obtained the phone and email records of Barbara Starr
, the network's Pentagon correspondent, for a two-month period between June 1, 2017, and July 31, 2017.
During that time, Starr was reporting on the US military
's options in North Korea
, as well as various interests in Syria and Afghanistan
, and the Trump administration
was likely looking for information about sources who were leaking information.
“CNN strongly condemns the secret collection of any aspect of a journalist’s correspondence, which is clearly protected by the First Amendment
,” said CNN president Jeff Zucker in response to the revelation.
Biden's condemnation is noteworthy in light of the fact that former President Barack Obama
, whom Biden served as vice president under, also secretly obtained reporters' records. In 2013, reports revealed that the Obama administration had done so with The Associated Press
reporters and editors, a move the outlet called a "serious interference with A.P.'s constitutional rights to gather and report the news