Report: Trump Administration Considering Plans to ‘evict’ Press Corps from White House
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President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is reportedly considering plans to evict the White House press corps from
accessing the White House.
According to a report from Esquire, which cited three sources with
the transition team, Trump administration officials are “seriously
considering” plans to evict the press corps from being able to
access the White House, arguing that it would allow the press
increased access to Trump.
“There has been no decision,” incoming White House press secretary
Sean Spicer told Esquire, adding that “there has been some
discussion about how to do it.”
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.
Spicer, in his comments to Esquire, suggested that one of the
reasons the administration is looking to evict the press from the
White House is because they want to offer more members of the
press the ability to cover Trump and the White House.
Currently, there are only 49 seats in the White House James Brady
Press Briefing Room, not enough to honor the hundreds, and
sometimes, thousands of requests from journalists to cover Trump,
However, a different, unnamed source told Esquire that the
administration might have a different motive. According to the
source, the administration is considering the move because of how the media covered Trump during the campaign and after his election victory.
Trump has repeatedly lambasted the media for their coverage of
him, regularly taking to Twitter to blast a news agency or a reporter by name. Most recently, Trump scolded CNN’s Jim Acosta during his press conference last week.
Still, no concrete plans regarding press access to Trump and
whether or not it will be in the White House or another location
have been put into action.
A new report claims the Trump administration might boot the press corps from the White House.
Esquire spoke to three senior officials who said the president-elect and his team are strongly considering putting press members elsewhere.
The White House press corps has worked out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for decades. If the administration does kick them out, the corps will reportedly move to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building or the White House Conference Center.
Incoming Press Secretary Sean Spicer is the only official named in the Esquire report. He said the team hasn’t decided whether to move the press corps but has been talking about whether the current press room is big enough.
But another anonymous official called the press “the opposition party” and said they want the press out of the building.
There’s no way of knowing who that source was — Esquire only refers to them as a “senior official.” But their statement doesn’t exactly set a new tone for the incoming administration.
Donald Trump often tweets that the media is “dishonest” and more than once has called them fake.
And just last week Trump had a tense exchange with a seasoned CNN White House reporter.
At Trump’s first press conference since the election, CNN correspondent Jim Acosta asked, “Mr. President-elect, can you give us a question? Since you’re attacking our news organization, can you give us a question?”
Trump responded, “Don’t be rude. No, I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news.”
That exchange came after CNN aired a report on a series of memos containing allegations against Trump and Russia. The network didn’t go into specifics about the allegations.
The Esquire report also follows the release of a 35-page document from Buzzfeed News containing unverified and known-false reports on alleged intelligence Russia has on Trump. Trump responded to that release by calling the outlet a “failing pile of garbage.”
Still, the Trump administration has said before that it plans to operate a traditional press pool. Now it just remains to be seen where that pool will be.
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