A new report out today sheds some light on how the Donald Trump administration may change up the traditional relationship between the White House and the press.
Esquire reports that according to “senior officials” on Trump’s transition team, press conferences will be moved from the White House:
According to three senior officials on the transition team, a plan to evict the press corps from the White House is under serious consideration by the incoming Trump Administration. If the plan goes through, one of the officials said, the media will be removed from the cozy confines of the White House press room, where it has worked for several decades. Members of the press will be relocated to the White House Conference Center—near Lafayette Square—or to a space in the Old Executive Office Building, next door to the White House.
Incoming Press Secretary Sean Spicer has been framing the issue as one of expanding access, as “an opportunity to potentially allow more members of the media to be part of this”:
So you're against greater access to the briefing? https://t.co/Ir426iOJQL
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) January 15, 2017
One senior official, however, was anonymously quoted as telling Esquire, of the press, “They are the opposition party. I want ’em out of the building. We are taking back the press room.”
In addition to Spicer, Reince Priebus addressed the report today on Meet the Press. He told Chuck Todd that this is indeed about “more access.”
When Todd asked Priebus “There will still be reporters every day going to work in the White House?”, Priebus said, “Well, that hasn’t been determined.”
CBS’ John Dickerson also asked about this to VP-elect Mike Pence today, questioning whether this move was more logistical or “punitive.”
"No decision has been made on that yet." -PEOTUS Pence on the report that Trump administration will move the press out of the White House pic.twitter.com/YLimgZRQpq
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 15, 2017
Pence, like Priebus, invoked the fact that the White House is 18 acres in discussing whether briefings would technically be moving off-site. And he also said that this is about expanding access and accommodating more outlets to bolster “our commitment to transparency, to a free and independent press.”
[image via screengrab]