After his initial meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam on Wednesday, some American reporters began shouting questions about convicted felon Michael Cohen's testimony against Trump in front of Congress this week. While Trump ignored the questions in the moment, they didn't go unnoticed. According to multiple reports, those reporters were barred from attending a follow-up dinner — and some promptly took to Twitter to complain about it.
Here's the moment that prompted the reported ban for certain members of the press:
"It was a moment of diplomatic stagecraft months in the making. But it didn’t take long for President Donald Trump’s domestic troubles to get in the way," Politico reported. "As Trump sat alongside the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, at a luxury hotel here, he was immediately confronted by the explosive allegations that his former longtime lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, planned to deliver to lawmakers in Washington later Wednesday."
The quick barage of questions included one that stood out: "Mr. President, any reaction to Michael Cohen and his testimony?"
In response, Trump ignored the questions and simply thanked the press in dismissal.
"Later Wednesday, the White House announced that it was limiting the number of reporters who would be permitted to attend a portion of Trump’s dinner with Kim 'due to the sensitive nature of the meetings,'" Politico notes.
"Several print reporters, including the three wire services, were barred from the Trump-Kim dinner after @jeffmason1 and I had asked questions of the president during earlier events," tweeted Jonathan Lemire, as noted by Twitchy.
"Wire writers from @Reuters @AP @business were excluded from going with the press pool to see the dinner between @realDonaldTrump and #KimJongUn," wrote Jeff Mason. "AP colleague @JonLemire and I were among those. We both asked questions during the first 'pool spray' when the two leaders shook hands."
The reporters' questions about Cohen are references to the testimony he's giving in front of the House Oversight Committee this week. On Wednesday, Cohen — who was sentenced in December to three years in prison for multiple charges, including fraud and campaign finance violations — gave his opening statement, which was released to the press in advance.
"I recognize that some of you may doubt and attack me on my credibility," Cohen told the committee Wednesday. "It is for this reason that I have incorporated into this opening statement documents that are irrefutable, and demonstrate that the information you will hear is accurate and truthful."
That "irrefutable" proof, Cohen said, would demonstrate that Trump had engaged in "illicit acts," including while he was in office.
"I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience," said Cohen. "I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat. He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails."