White House Denies Placing Social Media Gag Orders
Agencies are taking their own steps to address “inappropriate use of social media,” the press secretary says.
Denies : White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Wednesday that the Trump administration had no hand in deleting a national park’s tweets about climate change and denied any broader social media censorship is coming from the White House.
“There’s nothing that’s come from the White House, absolutely not,” Spicer said during a press briefing when asked whether it had anything to do with Badlands National Park deleting a series of tweets it posted Tuesday about climate change, and whether there is a more comprehensive mandate controlling federal agencies’ speech.
But earlier this week, The Huffington Post received a message that was reportedly sent to EPA staff Monday announcing freezes on external press releases and social media posts and other tight controls on communicating with the press. The memo states that the instructions were handed down during a briefing for communication directors and that they “will remain in place until further direction is received from the new Administration’s Beach Team” ― the name for the new administration’s staffers working at each agency while new leadership is put in place.
However, Spicer implied that the EPA enacted those rules independently from the White House because of past misuses of social media.