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AP Reporter Grabbed, Shoved Out of EPA Building

EPA has since reversed course, allowed reporters into meeting
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 22, 2018 4:35 PM CDT
In this May 16, 2018 photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on budget...   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – The Environmental Protection Agency reversed course Tuesday and allowed a reporter for the Associated Press to cover a meeting on water contaminants after she was earlier grabbed by the shoulders and shoved out of the building by a security guard, the AP reports. The AP journalist, Ellen Knickmeyer, said that Lincoln Ferguson, an adviser to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, called to apologize for how she was manhandled and that officials were looking into it. He invited her for the meeting's afternoon session. At least two other news organizations—CNN and E&E News, which covers energy and environmental issues, had also been initially barred from the event. Some other news outlets were allowed to cover the meeting from the start, and a portion of it was livestreamed.

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox, who had earlier told Knickmeyer that there was no room for her at the event, did not immediately return messages seeking comment. CNN said in a statement that its reporter also was turned away from covering the event "after multiple attempts to attend." The summit was on a class of chemicals present in dangerous amounts in many water systems around the country. Pruitt told about 200 people at the meeting that dealing with the contaminants is a "national priority." Knickmeyer had attempted to attend the meeting but was told she was not the invitation list. When she asked to speak to an EPA public-affairs person, security guards grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her out of the building. She said she was not injured.

(Read more Environmental Protection Agency stories.)

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