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Pres. Donald Trump Puts the Press in Its Place … Someplace Else

press

And not just because they are being removed from the White House, but because Trump may now be expanding the press corps to include bloggers …

Washington – President-elect Donald Trump’s team is considering moving the press briefing room out of the White House’s West Wing, according to Trump’s incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

When asked about an Esquire magazine report that the incoming administration plans to move the press room out of the West Wing to the Old Executive Office Building next door, Priebus told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week”, “The one thing that we discussed was whether or not we want to do conferences in the [Executive Office Building].”

“Which, by the way, is the White House,” Priebus added. “So no one is moving out of the White House. That is the White House, where you can fit four times the amount of people in the press conference, allowing more press, more press coverage from all over the country to have those press conferences. That’s what we’re talking about.”

Situated just to the west of the White House at 1650 Pennsylvania Ave., the Old Executive Office Building houses White House offices and staff, but is a physically separate building.
The news of a possible change in venue for White House press corps briefings comes after a very contentious first press conference by the president-elect last week.

“I know some of the folks in the press are uptight about this and I understand,” Priebus said on “This Week.” “The only thing that’s been discussed is whether or not the initial press conferences are going to be in that small press room. For the people listening to this that don’t know this, the press room that people see on TV is very, very tiny — 49 people fit in that press room.”

“We had like 500 or 600 folks at the press conference last week so we started thinking, ‘Man alive, if we can have more people involved than less people involved, that would be a good thing’ — that’s what this is about, George,” Priebus said.

Priebus added that the change in venue would allow for more press coverage and greater access by journalists. Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer gave a statement to ABC News following the report in Esquire.

“While no decisions have been made, there is enormous interest in covering Donald Trump and his agenda to improve the lives of every American,” Spicer’s statement said. “The current briefing room only has 49 seats so we have looked at rooms within the White House to conduct briefings that have additional capacity to accommodate members of media including talk radio, bloggers and others.”

Meanwhile, the president of the White House Correspondents Association, an organization of journalists who cover the White House and president, said he plans to meet with Trump’s incoming press secretary on the issue.

Prof. Ann Althouse:

Should they be ousted if they are not playing the role the place supposedly symbolizes? Are they representing us, the People, who, collectively, elected Trump, or are they representing the Democratic Party?

I don’t know that the symbolism is what should determine whether the press has that space or some other space, but I don’t think the press — with respect to the Trump administration — represents the people. I think the statement “They are the opposition party” is much more accurate. Too bad they did that to themselves. We could use a vigorous, professional press.

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