August 11, 2022

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White House communications response slammed by reporters from Politico, WaPo, CNN: ‘Bad form’

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Politico reporter Alex Thompson criticized the White House on Twitter for its response to his attempt to break the news Wednesday that White House communications director Kate Bedingfield is stepping down from her position soon.

“News: WH Comms Director Kate Bedingfield has told people she is departing in the coming weeks. Story [to come],” Thompson tweeted.

Shortly afterwards, he suggested that the White House gave him the runaround to avoid giving him the story.

White House Director of Communications Kate Bedingfield takes a question during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 29, 2022. 
(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

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“I called the White House at 2:53pm to ask for comment and told them we were running it. They asked for more time to check with folks. I gave it to them. WSJ pubbed at 3:11pm with a statement from Klain,” Thompson tweeted.

The White House correspondent followed that tweet with a link to his coverage of the news, writing that the White House “did not return a request for comment.”

In a later tweet, he added, “good luck to the White House staffer who gets a 2 minute long deadline next time.”

Fellow reporters agreed with Thompson’s frustration and criticized the White House’s behavior towards him.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Monday, June 13, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“This sounds so familiar!” Washington Post White House reporter Tyler Pager tweeted.

Alex Ward, Politico national security reporter, confirmed, “The White House does this All. The. Time.”

“Bad form,” tweeted CNN White House correspondent Kate Bennett. 

NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins wrote, “Sounds like they need a new Comms director.”

Fellow Politico White House reporter Max Tani tweeted, “if you’re a comms person, it’s not your job to run interference for news outlets that you prefer or that you’ve given the exclusive to…”

Thompson’s tweet was also shared by Politico reporters Marianne LeVine and Betsy Woodruff Swan, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, NPR’s Scott Detrow and The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona.

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Almost two hours after his original report, Thompson updated his thread with a comment from White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain on Bedingfield’s departure. The statement was the same one shared with Fox News earlier on Wednesday.

“Without Kate Bedingfield’s talent and tenacity, Donald Trump might still be in the White House, the Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Law might still be unrealized goals, and Ketanji Brown Jackson might not be sitting on the Supreme Court,” said White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. 

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 30: White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain attends an event with governors of western states and members of the Biden administration cabinet June 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. U.S. (Getty)

Klain added, “She has played a huge role in everything the President has achieved – from his second term as Vice President, through the campaign, and since coming to the White House. Her strategic acumen, intense devotion to the President’s agenda, and fierce work on his behalf are unmatched.  She will continue to remain a critical player in moving the Biden agenda forward from the outside.”

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Neither Thompson nor the White House responded to a request for comment from Fox News Digital in time for publication.