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Trump bucks protocol on press access

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    People stood on the steps of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House in Washington, today, as they waited for the arrival of President-elect Donald Trump for his meeting with President Barack Obama.

WASHINGTON » President-elect Donald Trump is keeping America in the dark about his earliest conversations and decisions about his incoming government, and bucking a long-standing practice intended to ensure the public has a watchful eye on the nation’s new leader.

Trump refused to allow journalists to travel with him to Washington today for his historic first meeting with President Barack Obama and congressional leaders. The Republican’s top advisers rebuffed news organizations’ requests for a small “pool” of journalists to trail Trump as he attended meetings Washington.

The decision was part of an opaque pattern in Trump’s first moves since his victory Tuesday. Trump was entirely out of sight on Wednesday. His aides said he was huddled with advisers at his offices in New York. His team has not put out a daily schedule, or offered any detailed updates on how he has spent his time. They have not acknowledged phone calls or other contact with world leaders.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory telegram to Trump on Wednesday, Moscow spread the word. A phone call with British Prime Minster Theresa May was announced in London. The pattern was repeated for calls with leaders of Israel, Egypt, South Korea and Australia.

The White House typically releases statements on the president’s phone calls with foreign leaders, providing some details about the conversation. Past presidents-elect have had early briefings with journalists, even in confusing first hours after Election Day.

But early signs suggest Trump is willing to break protocol when it comes to press access and transparency.

As a candidate, Trump railed against the press as “disgusting” and “dishonest.” He refused to allow a pool of campaign reporters and photographers fly on his plane to events, sometimes starting his rallies before his press corps arrived. The practice did not extend to his running mate, Mike Pence, who was followed by a traditional pool of journalists.

News organizations had tried for weeks to coordinate a pool of journalists to travel with Trump immediately after Election Day if he won. The Associated Press is among those reaching out to Trump advisers about press access.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said the president-elect’s team expects “to operate a traditional pool and look forward to implementing our plans in the near future.”

The White House Correspondents’ Association, which coordinates press pools and advocates for transparency at the White House, urged Trump to allow journalists to cover his meetings and other movements.

“This decision could leave Americans blind about his whereabouts and well-being in the event of a national crisis,” said Jeff Mason, White House correspondent for Reuters and the group’s president. “Not allowing a pool of journalists to travel with and cover the next president of the United States is unacceptable.”

Trump’s meeting with Obama in the Oval Office was recorded by the pool of White House reporters, photographers and TV journalists who cover the president.

Every president and president-elect in recent memory has traveled with a pool of journalists when they leave the White House grounds.

A pool of reporters and photographers were in the motorcade when President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas. The pool was just steps away from President Ronald Reagan when he was shot outside a hotel in the District of Columbia, and was stationed outside his hospital as he recovered. The pool also travels on vacation and foreign trips and at times captures personal, historic moments of the presidency.

The practice makes journalists eyewitnesses to how the president conducts business, rather than relying on secondhand accounts. It often captures more intimate moments between the president and people he greets. The White House, meanwhile, depends on having journalists near at all times to relay the president’s first comments on breaking news.

News organizations take turns serving in the small group, paying their way and sharing the material collected in the pool with the larger press corps. The pool also covers official events at the White House when space doesn’t allow for the full press corps.

Because of safety concerns, presidents and presidents-elect travel in a bubble of security, with the exact timing of their travel kept secret and streets often blocked off around their events. That leaves news organizations dependent on the White House to facilitate the pool coverage by arranging security clearances and transportation.

Obama also has looked for new ways to limit White House press access.

On Thursday, photographers were not allowed to shoot a meeting between first lady Michelle Obama and Melania Trump, who joined her husband on the White House visit.

The White House released a photo taken by a staff photographer and circulated it on social media. The Associated Press does not distribute such photos.

White House photographers were allowed to shoot a similar meeting between Mrs. Obama and then-first lady Laura Bush eight years ago.

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  • president-elect trump will give the press access to his movements only when it benefits him.
    and the msm, after how they mistreated him, deserve it. similar how the obama admin shut out fox news

        • Have you heard of freedom of the press?
          If there is criminal activities that need to be prosecuted, then so be it. Last I heard, one is innocent until proven guilty. The FBI declined to bring charges…both times. Maybe now they will prosecute with Trump in control. It’s one of his promises or statements yes?
          In the meanwhile, Trump is going to have to give testimony in a current trial. He’s been called as a witness by both sides, prosecution and defense. This must be some kind of first. Never heard of a POTUS being called as a witness.

        • @Dai – Freedom of the press means they can write anything they want about Trump. It’s protect by the 1st Amendment. That hasn’t changed. Trump is not violating the law, but rather breaking tradition by refusing to allow a pool of campaign reporters, photographers to travel with him. Not saying I agree, but just that I understand why he’s doing it.

        • You just show the extreme ign0rance of the American public. When you can’t tell the difference between editorial content and news content, you are the ign0rant. Both papers have run righ-leaning editorials as well as left-leaning. All news content, however, is based on fact-finding and written with journalistic integrity.

        • HEI…. Who is showing ignorance when you suggest that “all” news content is based on integrity..? Too funny.

        • HIE: “All news content, however, is based on fact-finding and written with journalistic integrity.”

          Uh, where is this magical place you speak of? Because that hasn’t been my experience with the Pro-Clinton, biased, one sided news stories I’ve seen.

    • He has been open with the press– at least his staff has been. We now know most of his cabinet list and those he has offered positions too. That should be enough for now. He enjoyed his meeting with Obama and hopes to have more meetings with him. Obama offered to help. His cabinet looks like regular people we know from other government service or time in office– no nut cases. He and his staff met with some union people not long ago– one from Hawaii I believe, and he is going to help the working man. So everyone can be happy. Time to move on. He looks to be more conventional and presidential now. We can see the real man and not what he was posing as– which is good. Again, time to move on together. As HIllary said– Give him a chance to lead– he earned it.

      • No nut jobs except the talk of appointing a climate denier, Myron Ebell,to the head of the EPA and backing out of our signed agreements on the Paris talks. That smacks of two nut cases right there. But you probably don’t believe in climate change either – even though 90% of educated professional scientists do. Lucky we live Hawaii, but sadly, future generations may never get the chance if this goes through.

  • The mainstream media (excluding Fox) deserves a full on one fingered salute from Donald Trump.

    They are 100% responsible for the current protesting because of the totally biased coverage against him while they covered up for Crooked Hillary.

  • This is just the beginning. The nation will be beneficiaries of the “Trump Care” policies for the next four years.
    It’ll be an interesting ride since there is almost total control in all levels of government. Executive, Legislative and most likely the Judiciary.
    Change is good. It gives us an opportunity to see what it’s like with other peoples priorities.
    We just need to hope it doesn’t hurt too many people. I’m hoping he really do take care of our veterans and their need for health care.

  • My daughter told me WikiLeaks posted that the news media were slanting the news and saying Clinton was ahead in the polls – but she was not. Do you blame Trump not liking our liberal news organizations.

    • So all media is liberal and only one is not? WikiLeaks might have interfered with our elections. I was wondering why only one party’s privileged information was “leaked” nothing from the other party.

      • That one party is to blame for not keeping their information secure. Clinton willfully mishandled or caused to have been mishandled classified materials that jeopardized national security. Glad she didn’t win.

        • Bootsie..Good to see you come out of the closet.Can you say President Trump. As your buddy Ikie would say bwahahahaha. Hope you enjoy the next four years. Oh, the stock market is up up up.

        • Sarge the last time I checked my stocks were down. They were up[ the day before so I am not all that concerned yet. I just go by history where republicans practice socialism for the rich which drains the middle class and leads to economic meltdowns.

          I will not refer to president trump. I prefer the groper in chief. Nice to know where your values truly are.

          I am confident I will be able to survive the nest 4 years but what about you sarge? I take it you are dependent on government for income, health care, etc? The Donald might just cut your benefits like he stiffed his contractors on his buildings. Enjoy the clown. This is a person who made Ron Rewald look honest.

      • there’s nothing to leak out about trump. he’ll tell you straight to your face however misguided it might be. he no shame about nothing right or wrong. hillary on the other hand has closets full of secrets as we have been finding out.

        • Are you saying that WikiLeaks hacked both Clinton and Trump emails and decided to only post Clintons informative as well as her useless emails? If so why didn’t they also post Trumps useless emails?

        • if there was something for wikileaks to leak about trump cholo trusts they would. all they care about is transparency and the truth. as far as cholo knows, they haven’t given anyone a reason to doubt their mission and we’ve already seen examples of that where many leaks should have never been done.

  • There should be no reason why he won’t be able to carry out his promises since he has both chambers. In like President Obama who faced opposition from day one of his term. Remember both legislative leaderships promised not to cooperate with President Obama and did so. His terms were filled with road blocks and that’s why he needed his executive orders to get things done.
    President Trump will have no such obstacles. Hoping he doesn’t spend too much time dismantling everything in the first year and concentrate on more important things like implementing his secret plan for getting rid of ISIS bringing peace to the Middle East.

  • Drumpf demonstrates once again what an ingrate he is. The so called media who fawned over his every faux pas for the last fifteen months are largely responsible for his election win, warts, whoppers and p-ssyfingers. Pray he doesn’t put those little fingers on a nuclear football.

    • @ Macadamiamac The media “fawned over….” Really, can you cite any examples to substantiate your claim? I wonder where you were getting your news from as just about every mainstream media outlet pounced on every Trump misstep. You are also misguided by your belief that Trump cannot be trusted about involving the US in nuclear conflict. You should know that the Russians are pleased that Trump won the election as they were concerned that Hillary as President would guarantee war. Do your homework.

  • media should be completely independent and be traveling on their own vehicles.

    trump’s branding is what carried his campaign to success, he doesn’t need media fluffers or the gotchas that other presidents needed to keep in the news.

  • Whatever happened to his speech where he urged EVERYONE to come together and move forward. Nothing new here he said he would release his taxes and didn’t. Stay tuned same brat time, same brat channel.

    • The American media has become nothing more than professional public relations personnel for the powers that be. They just have to change their title from “journalist” to “PR person.”

  • Why would he give his enemies access to his daily routine? They openly loathe him, try to undermine him at every opportunity and openly mock him and his supporters – they should be banned until they grow up.

  • Good luck, members of the American media. You now have someone who is not owned by the powers that be. Nor is he beholden to any of you. Funny how things work out when the American people get fed up with slanted, biased reporting, isn’t it? Funny, how the American electoral college didn’t buy the goods the American media was selling.

  • Good for you Mr. President elect.When the MSM stops putting a bias spin on the news, maybe he’ll let them in on a few things. And don’t you start spreading the BS that Obama was the most transparent administration cause we will laugh in your face.

  • I wouldn’t give the MSM the Time of Day either! After all the False/damaging reporting on President Trump? And now they want another chance at dishonestly reporting the News for President elect Donald Trump? You gotta be kidding me! Donald is not by far Insane!
    I would be looking at the MSM White House Press pass When he takes residence of the WH ! To see “who was naughty and who was nice!”
    Outstanding job President Trump ! Stop the LiberaL Lunacy and restore America!

  • Sounds like a lot of ‘behemoth spin’ or b.s. for short, to me. A lot of aggressive agencies who have had their feathers ruffled. Good. If these agencies are willing to go to GREAT lengths in their presentation of the news WITHOUT spin, so much the better; semantics is key. But the mainstream media is also implicated in the election of Trump: why do you think somebody like him won? A reaction against the “system”, which unfortunately includes, at least in this country, the mainstream media.

  • Being president is not for your entertainment. As a person without political jobs, I would not want the press to bash everything I may be doing wrong or learning. Trump also has great reason not to trust the media, they tried to destroy him. Give him time, I don’t remember such scrutiny when Obama took office and it seems this is the norm for incoming presidents, which, honestly I didn’t know they did this. Learn something new everyday.

  • not only trump believes the press is dishonest and biased, a lot of people too. there’s definite biased in reporting by the news media. so the new way may be to limit the press around you … obviously Colbert wants to rant on every little thing about Trump as an example.

  • POTUS Trump has a good reason, to avoid the very biased news media. The news media polls, in the primary & general elections, predicted he was losing. The news media as a whole, tended to sabotage his agenda.

    I wouldn’t trust the news media. I would give the news media, all of my information, after I fully completed my agenda.

    No news media sabotage.

    • What the clueless media did not realize is that Trump voters do not trust the media and disregarded their polls for what they were; garbage. Meanwhile, some of the Hillary supporters may have figured they did not need to vote since the polls showed she was going to win. no matter what.

      • Look at the rubbish the US media continues to spew ever since Trump won. Rather than publishing articles on what he plans to do once he is sworn in as President, they keep asking stupid questions such as, “How did he win?” or “How did she lose?”

        Who cares? Move forward and give us some real info such as who will Trump appoint to his cabinet. Instead, I have to go to BBC.com for some real news The American media has become a joke.

  • It’s quite ironic that the media, Fox News, that helped buoy him into office won’t be invited into Trump’s entourage. He has them to thank actually.

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