Obama plays golf with Woods; no access leaves press frustrated

Washington: Denial of access to a golf game involving the US President Barack Obama and legendary Tiger Woods on Sunday has left media "frustrated" even as the White House defended the decision.

Ed Henry, president of the White House Correspondents Association, issued a statement saying that the decision of the White House to deny access to press was baffling.

"Speaking on behalf of the White House Correspondents Association, I can say a broad cross section of our members from print, radio, online and TV have today expressed extreme frustration to me about having absolutely no access to the President of the United States this entire weekend.

"There is a very simple but important principle we will continue to fight for today and in the days ahead: transparency," Henry said in a statement late Sunday evening.

However, the White House defended its decision on the kind of access given to battery of media travelling with the US President.

"The press access granted by the White House today is entirely consistent with the press access offered for previous presidential golf outings," the White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, said.

"It`s also consistent with the press access promised to the White House Press Corps prior to arrival in Florida on Friday evening," Earnest said.

Earlier in the day, the White House pool - the battery of press which travels with the president and covers his events - lodged a protest after they were denied access to Obama playing golf with Tiger Woods.

The event was otherwise being tweeted by golf analyst Tim Rosaforte and talked about on the Golf Channel.

Earnest said Obama played golf with Principal of the US Trade Representatives, Ron Kirk, Jim Crane and Tiger Woods.

Despite repeated request, the travelling press was not provided a photo-opportunity.

Obama would return to White House in Washington DC on Monday night.


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