The liberal media is claiming President Donald’s Trump frustration with an adversarial press is a threat to democracy and the press’s vital role in preserving it.
But former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said Trump should put his words into action, citing recent remarks by the president that he might stop the daily briefings at the White House.
“What they ought to do is get out of all this junk, they ought to focus on the big goals, they ought to report to the nation on the big goals, ignore all these reporters, close down the press room, send the reporters off [to Starbucks],” Gingrich said on Fox News’s Hannity.
“Maybe say to the American people – send in your questions, we’ll take the best five questions and we’ll answer them by name,” Gingrich said, calling the press “dishonest opponents” of the president.
Trump suggested he might cancel future press briefing in the name of accuracy after members of his communications team didn’t have all of the details of his decision to fire former FBI director James Comey ahead of the president’s own account given in an interview with Lester Holt on NBC’s Nightly News.
As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
Trump repeated the idea later in an interview with Fox News.
“We don’t have press conferences, we just don’t have them, unless I have them every two weeks and I do them myself,” Trump said.
The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) pushed back following Trump’s remarks:
“White House briefings and press conferences provide substantive and symbolic opportunities for journalists to pose questions to officials at the highest levels of the U.S. government,” the statement from WHCA President Jeff Mason said. “Doing away with briefings would reduce accountability, transparency, and the opportunity for Americans to see that, in the U.S. system, no political figure is above being questioned.”
“The White House Correspondents’ Association would object to any move that would threaten those constitutionally-protected principles,” said Mason, who also works as a reporter with Reuters.