CNN and other news outlets were blocked on Friday from attending an off-camera White House press briefing that other reporters were hand-picked to attend, raising alarm among media organizations and First Amendment watchdogs.

The decision struck veteran White House journalists as unprecedented in the modern era, and escalated tensions in the already fraught relationship between the Trump administration and the press.

The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, BuzzFeed, the BBC and the Guardian were also among those excluded from the meeting, which was held in White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s office. The meeting, which is known as a gaggle, was held in lieu of the daily televised Q-and-A session in the White House briefing room.

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