Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus addressed a report on whether reporters will be working daily inside the White House by explaining the plan is to possibly expand the White House press briefing room which would mean office space for reporters would have to be moved but where “hasn’t been determined.”
Partial transcript as follows:
TODD: There was a new report out from “Esquire” magazine that includes quotes by the incoming secretary and anonymous quotes that seemed to indicate that it is your intent to remove the White House press corps from the White House. is that true?
PRIEBUS :Well, look, first of all — let me explain. No, because the White House obviously is 18 acres, right, Chuck? No. the technical answer is no, But what we have is you saw the news conference the other day, and I would have to quarrel with you. I don’t think it was a bizarre news conference. I don’t think it’s a fair characterization, but there was 500 to 600 reporters at that news conference. What I’m talking about and what we’re talking about and the only thing that was discussed about this, is whether or not you take 50 people in the very small press room which it looks big on TV, but is very tiny and whether you want to go 50 feet to the EOB and have for the first few weeks or the first months or so the press conferences where you can fit three or four times the amount of people. It is about more access.
TODD: This isn’t about the office space or any of that business?
PRIEBUS: This is about quadrupling the amount of reporters that can cover our press conference.
TODD: But there will still be reporters — there will still be reporters every day going to work in the White House?
PRIEBUS: Well, that hasn’t been determined, Chuck, but as of now the only thing that created this story, I just want to make it very clear was the question of whether or not the press briefings, at least initially are going to be in the EOB.
TODD: Is this about press briefings or is this about kicking the press out of the building altogether?
PRIEBUS: This is about press briefings. That’s what created this story.
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