Continued from page 1

“Absolutely not,” Mr. Earnest said. “The president invited the crew members of Apollo 11 to the White House to honor their contribution to space exploration and to the innovation in the field of science.”

Mr. Earnest said television cameras weren’t allowed into the meeting because “the president has a very busy schedule.” TV correspondents noted that another recent White House “photo-op” that included TV cameras lasted only 38 seconds.

The exclusion of TV and print journalists from the meeting prompted the White House Correspondents Association to lodge a formal complaint with the White House.

“The astronauts were among the most visible televised national heroes this country has ever known,” CBS News correspondent Major Garrett told Mr. Earnest. “That entire program was financed by the American taxpayer. We believe that that is a classic definition of something that should have the broadest press coverage imaginable, and we are therefore lodging a complaint against your decision to keep us out.”

The president’s fundraising trip included a stop Tuesday night at the 10,000-square-foot lakefront home of megadonors Bruce and Ann Blume near Seattle. He will also attend a fundraiser Wednesday at the Los Altos Hills, California, mansion of philanthropists Judy and George Marcus.

Mr. Obama will mix in a policy event or two on the trip, including one to promote job-driven skills training in Los Angeles on Thursday.