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January 12, 2021

“An Assault on the First Amendment”

“At a moment when the world already has watched an assault on our democratic institutions, the Trump administration has chosen to send another message – with an assault on the First Amendment. It did so at the Voice of America, a taxpayer-supported service tasked by Congress with broadcasting uncensored journalism to the world to demonstrate freedoms – particularly freedom of the press – that the United States hopes all nations will emulate. VOA’s reassignment of Patsy Widakuswara for doing her job, asking questions, is an affront to the very ideals Secretary of State Pompeo discussed in his speech Monday. The move, mere hours before Widakuswara was to fly with the president as a member of the travel pool on Air Force One, harms the interests of all Americans who depend on the free press to learn about the actions of their government and gives comfort to efforts to restrict press freedom around the world.”

–Zeke Miller, president, White House Correspondents’ Association, on behalf of the board of the WHCA

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