Reporters watch President Trump in the Rose Garden on June 5. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

ABC News' Jonathan Karl, the president of the White House Correspondents' Association, said Friday that the White House "needlessly put reporters' health at risk" by moving chairs closer together for President Trump's Rose Garden event in violation of the CDC's social-distancing guidelines.

What he's saying: "The health of the press corps should not be put in jeopardy because the White House wants reporters to be a prop for a 'news conference' where the president refused to answer any questions," Karl told CNN's Brian Stelter.

  • Karl placed "news conference" in quotes because though it was billed as such by the White House press office, Trump did not take any questions from reporters during the 53-minute event.
  • "The chairs were initially positioned in a way that was consistent with social distancing guidelines but were moved closer together by White House staff shortly before the event started," Karl added.

The other side ... White House spokesperson Judd Deere told Axios that moving the chairs was his decision: "It looks better. I would remind you that those in the pool are tested, everyone is temperature checked, and asked if they have had symptoms."

Go deeper ... Study: Government-enforced coronavirus social distancing works

Go deeper

South Dakota governor: "We will not be social distancing" at July 3 event with Trump

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) told Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Monday that attendees at a July 3 event at Mount Rushmore where President Trump is set to speak will not be required to practice social distancing.

What she's saying: "We will have a large event on July 3. We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home, but those who want to come and join us, we'll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one. But we won't be social distancing."

Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.