A tweet from NBC News’ Kasie Hunt earlier this morning sent the D.C. press corps reeling. Apparently, the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration had abruptly decided not to allow reporters to film senators in the halls of Congress, breaking with years of precedent. She tweeted:
ALERT: Reporters at Capitol have been told they are not allow to film interviews with senators in hallways, contrary to years of precedent
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) June 13, 2017
According to Hunt, reporters were doing their usual jobs when they were instructed to stop filming by Senate staffers. The conditions under which filmed interviews are allowed, Hunt was told, are prior permission from the senator in question and the express permission of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration itself.
Hunt’s original source for the rules change was the Senate Radio & Television Correspondents Gallery. LawNewz.com reached out to their office and was told they have “no comment on the matter,” before suggesting that all questions be addressed to the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, Rules Committee Ranking Member, tweeted that she spoke with Committee Chairman Richard Shelby about the rumored rules change and was promised that it wouldn’t go into effect. LawNewz.com reached out to Klobuchar’s office and is awaiting a response.
Just spoke with Senator Shelby. He said he wouldn’t move forward on change to press access without consulting me and we must hold him to it
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) June 13, 2017
Meanwhile, Shelby insisted in a statement that there are “no changes to existing rules,” and “no additional restrictions have been put in place.”
In response to Shelby’s statement, however, Hunt noted that reporters are currently still not allowed to conduct hallway interviews.
[image via shutterstock]