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State Department Ejects Free Beacon Reporter From Briefing

The State Department’s Wendy Sherman testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee / AP

AP

BY:

VIENNA—Officials with the Department of State threatened to call security Monday on a Washington Free Beacon reporter who was attempting to report on a briefing held by senior Obama administration figures in Vienna on the eve of an expected nuclear agreement with Iran.

Two State Department officials booted the Free Beacon from a room where Wendy Sherman, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, was talking to reporters, despite the Free Beacon’s being credentialed by the Austrian government for the ongoing Iranian nuclear talks.

Western observers present in Vienna for the talks linked the State Department’s behavior to jitters over media coverage revealing a still growing list of concessions being made to Iran by the Obama administration.

Melissa Turley, a State Department official, approached a Free Beacon reporter and demanded that he leave the room.

“You’re not registered with the U.S. press,” Turley said after being informed that the Free Beacon was attending the event.

“You have a press pass from the [European Union], not from me,” Turley said, after being informed that the Free Beacon was officially credentialed to cover the event.

Turley and her colleagues then threatened the reporter, instructing him to leave the room or be dealt with by “security.”

“I’m going to have to get security,” added another State Department official who came to assist Turley in ejecting the Free Beacon.

At one point, Marie Harf, another State Department official, was also involved in the situation.

The State Department officials said that if the Free Beacon has “a problem” with being removed from the briefing, it should file a case with Associated Press reporter Matthew Lee, who is president of the State Department Correspondents Association. More

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