WASHINGTON — Milo Yiannopoulos, the conservative provocateur and Breitbart News columnist, claims he is going to attend the White House press briefing on Friday.
“I’ll be there,” Yiannopoulos said in an email to Yahoo News.
Yiannopoulos said he didn’t know whether he would get to ask White House press secretary Sean Spicer a question at the briefing. He previously attended a briefing last March. Yiannopoulos asked former White House press secretary Josh Earnest about his belief that Facebook and Twitter are “punishing conservative and libertarian points of view.”
The briefing comes at the end of a week when a speech Yiannopoulos planned to deliver at University of California, Berkeley was canceled amid violent protests. President Trump responded to the demonstrations with a tweet on Thursday morning that seemed to suggest he might pull federal funds from the university.
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
Yiannopoulos has earned fans and sparked outrage by attacking feminism, Islam and political correctness. In his speeches and columns, Yiannopoulos has argued that there is no gender pay gap, that Muslim immigration would endanger the country and that rape culture is a myth. He was also a vocal supporter of Trump, whom he dubbed “Daddy,” during last year’s presidential campaign. Yiannopoulos was banned from Twitter last July after encouraging his followers to attack actress Leslie Jones for her role in the reboot of Ghostbusters. The movie featured women on the titular team that was originally made famous by a male cast.
Yahoo News emailed Spicer to confirm Yiannopoulos would be attending the briefing on Friday and to ask if he would be allowed to ask a question. As of this writing, Spicer had not responded.
UPDATE (February 3, 1:14 p.m.): Despite very clearly telling multiple media outlets he would be at the briefing on Friday, Yiannopoulos did not attend. In a note posted on his Facebook page, Yiannopoulos claimed he is instead “focusing on” television appearances in the wake of the protests at University of California, Berkeley.
“I won’t be headed to the White House today as some news reports are suggesting — en route to New York for cable news,” Yiannopoulos wrote. “Had fun at the press briefing last time but I’m the biggest story in the country and I’m focusing on TV! I’ll drop Sean and Daddy a line about Berkeley privately.”
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