Trump team could kick press corps out of White House.

Trump Team Considers Kicking Press Corps Out of White House

Trump Team Considers Kicking Press Corps Out of White House

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Jan. 15 2017 10:40 AM

Trump Team Considers Kicking Press Corps Out of White House

167802075-president-barack-obama-waves-goodbye-to-reporters-after
President Barack Obama (R) waves goodbye to reporters after holding a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on April 30, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

When President-elect Donald Trump’s team moves into the White House it could kick the press out of the building. Esquire was first to report on the possibility, saying some in the administration don't want reporters to be so close. Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus tried to tone down the issue, characterizing it as much ado about nothing.

The plan reportedly under consideration involves kicking the media out of the White House press room, where reporters have worked for decades, into either the White House Conference Center or to the Old Executive Office Building, which is next door to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Advertisement

Sean Spicer, Trump's press secretary acknowledged that "there has been some discussion about how to do it” but insisted "there has been no decision.” He said the discussions were a question of inclusion rather than exclusion. "A question is: Is a room that has forty-nine seats adequate? When we had that press conference the other day, we had thousands of requests, and we capped it at four hundred,” Spicer said. “Is there an opportunity to potentially allow more members of the media to be part of this? That's something we're discussing.”

Priebus downplayed the discussions even more, noting on ABC’s This Week that “some of the folks in the press are uptight about this and I understand.” The incoming White House chief of staff said the only thing that has been discussed is whether to move the press conferences in order “to fit four times the amount of people in the press conference, allowing more press, more coverage from all over the country.”

Yet unnamed officials who talk to Esquire say any potential move has more to do with the contentious relationship Trump has with the press, which has led some in the administration to see the reporters as more than just mere observers. "They are the opposition party," a senior official told Esquire. "I want 'em out of the building. We are taking back the press room."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.