(New York, NY)—In response to the White House suspending journalist Brian Karem’s press credentials, PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel issued the following statement:

“Yet again, the Trump White House has been accused of retaliating against a journalist for coverage they dislike. The White House owes us an urgent explanation of why reporter Brian Karem’s press pass was withdrawn. If it has anything to do with questions he has asked or conversations held on White House grounds, the suspension will add to the growing list of occasions in which this Administration has flouted its First Amendment obligations.
 
“In the last few weeks, the country and the world have recoiled at the President’s racist rhetoric. Those words are protected by the First Amendment.  But when the president uses the machinery of the federal government to exact revenge on journalists, he’s in direct violation of the First Amendment. That’s why we—on behalf of 7,200 journalists and writers across the nation—sued the president last October and continue to fight his lawlessness in court.” 
 
Read more about PEN America’s lawsuit against the president here.
 
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Contact: Stephen Fee, Director of Communications, sfee@pen.org, +1 202 309 8892