It was a rehearsal of the things to come in the new Trump administration. In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, on February 24 2017, Trump came heavily on what he termed as “Fake News” and also took to task the FBI for leaking news which put the security of the nation at risk. In a series of tweets, he also called the FBI a porous agency and assailed unauthorized revelations.

The act will set a dangerous precedent

A few hours after the speech, Mr. Trump’s determination to punish erring journalists came to the fore and Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, barred journalists representing the New York Times, BBC, and some other agencies from attending the daily briefings.

It was an unusual act and was followed by swift condemnation by the barred News organizations.

The reporters who were barred from attending the meeting included the BBC and The Huffington Post, CNN, BuzzFeed News and the Los Angeles Times.

Reporters of News agencies with conservative leanings were allowed access to the briefing, and it includes ABC, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and Bloomberg.

Trump’s anger was directed at The Times and CNN which he described as a grave threat to our country. The move has no precedent and makes it clear that Mr. Trump and his inner circle will go to the umpteenth degree to undercut those who dissect his policies, dismiss negative news as lies and allow access to the White House to a few news organizations which are less caustic in their remarks or overtly support his agenda.

Stifling opposition and discord

Trump’s annoyance with the CNN was caused by its report that a White House official had asked the FBI to refute a report in the New York Times that Trump’s associates had contacts with Russian intelligence officials.

Terming the report as false to delighted conservatives who had packed the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center just south of Washington, Trump threatened that these people do not represent the majority of the population and he will be doing something against it.