Breitbart News has been denied access to the Press Gallery of the U.S. Senate. A committee of five journalists grants the necessary “hard passes” to media in order to report on Congress. According to BuzzFeed News, the Senate wants Breitbart to explain its links to the Government Accountability Institute and Rebekah Mercer -- a wealthy donor to the Republican party and supporter of President Trump.
The standing committee of five reporters from establishment media declined to grant credentialed access to the Senate press gallery to Breitbart News. In February, members of the committee asked Breitbart CEO Larry Solov outline how Steve Bannon, the former CEO of Breitbart who now serves in the White House, is involved with Breitbart. Last week, Solov wrote a letter to the committee stating that Bannon had resigned "on or about November 13, 2016" and has "no editorial, executive, financial or other role or interest" in Breitbart News.
According to Solov, Breitbart is owned by the widow of founder Andrew Breitbart, Susie Breitbart, the Mercer family, and himself. The committee of journalists that decide on credentialing are questioning the links between the Government Accountability Institute and Breitbart’s senior editor-at-large Peter Schweizer and managing editor Wynton Hall. Solov did not declare which members of the Mercer family have an interest in Breitbart News.
The committee requires that media seeking permanent access to the Capitol must reveal financial information that assures the committee that the news organization is independent of interest groups. Committee members want Breitbart to submit further information about any links to GAI and whether Rebekah Mercer has editorial influence in the news organization. The committee wants its questions answered by April 18.
The current members of the Standing Committee are as follows:
Billy House, Bloomberg News, Chairman
Joe Morton, Omaha World Herald, Secretary
Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post
Tamar Hallerman, Atlanta Journal Constitution
Deirdre Shesgreen, Gannett
Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.