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Justice Department obtained CNN pentagon correspondent's phone records in 2017

The cable news network is asking for an "immediate" meeting and explanation.

Updated: May 21, 2021 - 7:39am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Justice Department obtained 2017 phone records of CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr, according to the cable TV news network, which is asking for an "immediate" explanation.

CNN said Thursday the department informed Starr on May 13 that it obtained her phone and email records from June 1 to July 31, 2017.

"CNN strongly condemns the secret collection of any aspect of a journalist's correspondence, which is clearly protected by the First Amendment," said CNN President Jeff Zucker, according to the Associated Press. "We are asking for an immediate meeting with the Justice Department for an explanation."

The department confirmed it obtained records of Starr's home, cell, and Pentagon extension phone numbers. It also obtained "non-content" information from her emails, meaning information about senders and recipients, not the content of the communications. The department, which obtained the information under the former Trump administration, did not disclose  details of why it sought her records.

The Washington Post recently said the department last year seized phone records of three of its journalists who covered the Russia investigation.

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