A local reporter, invited to cover US Vice President Joe Biden's fundraiser, said he was told to sit in a closet by Biden staffers to keep him from speaking with influential guests.
A reporter with the Orlando Sentinel was kept in a closet for hours while $500-a-plate attendees dined unaware of his captivity.
To read an updated report on the incident, read the latest update from Scott Powers
The incident is shaping up to be a fresh embarrassment for President Obama, who has repeatedly touted transparency in his administration and has been critical of the manner in which Libya has treated journalists.
Powers, a long-time reporter with the Orlando Sentinel, described his ordeal to The Drudge Report.
"When I'd stick my head out, they'd say, 'Not yet. We'll let you know when you can come out,'" he told The Drudge Report, according to the Daily Mail.
The incident highlights the bigger question of transparency in the Obama administration. The White House recently rejected a transparency award that would have been issued to President Obama by a coalition of open-government groups, the Miami Heraldreported. However, President Obama has long held that transparency is a key objective of his administration.
But though Powers has documented the incident, including photographs of the contents in the closet where he was held, the Orlando Sentinel editors have effectively dropped the story.
One of the fundraiser attendees emailed the Orlando Sentinel: “I was in attendance at the fundraiser and enjoyed a nice lunch. If I had known there was a reporter stuffed in the closet, I would have been compelled to stand up and demand answers. I would also like to know if this is actually legal to treat people like caged animals. I’m disgusted by these actions.”
It was unclear if Powers planned to further pursue the matter.