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CNN's Jeff Zeleny says press access to Biden border facilities 'largely irrelevant' due to image leaks

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CNN correspondent Jeff Zeleny appeared to dismiss the necessity of the Biden administration granting press access to migrant facilities at the southern border. 

At his first press conference Thursday, President Biden was pressed as to when reporters will be allowed inside the facilities to see the conditions under which migrant children are kept in custody by the Border Patrol. Biden failed to offer a timeline, despite his administration’s previous vow of being “transparent” with the public. However, the president suggested the press will have access once the current problems are resolved.

While CNN anchor Jake Tapper called out Biden for not “leveling with the American people,” Zeleny was far more forgiving. 

“Well Jake, I mean, the reality is, whether they let the news media in so the public can see — we should always point out that’s what this is about, the American people being able to see their government at work here —  whether he does that or not is largely irrelevant because members of Congress on both sides have made clear that the images that they have seen there are unacceptable,” Zeleny responded. “In fact, President Biden said himself the images he has seen in briefings are unacceptable.”

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Zeleny continued by stressing that the real “question” is whether the Biden administration will “keep hiding behind” COVID restrictions as an excuse for not granting media access. However, he noted, “there are enough eyeballs there that people are raising a stink about this, both Democrats and Republicans.” 

The CNN reporter went on to praise Biden for giving a “humane answer” to a question about not turning minors away at the border. 

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