It’s not like we didn’t expect this.
President-elect Donald Trump still has not allowed a so-called protective pool of reporters to travel with him.
On Thursday, when he flew to Washington to meet with President Barack Obama, he left his press corps in New York. Later in Washington, reporters were not told of his schedule and were left scrambling to find him.
In past years, previous nominees of both major parties have allowed reporters to travel with them in part because they will witness history if anything should happen to the would-be president of the United States. Both Trump and Hillary Clinton resisted that. Trump, now president elect, is still resisting.
Trump spent considerable time on the campaign trail ranting at what he called a “totally dishonest press” that he blamed for negative coverage and failure to show the true size of his crowds, and banned various newspapers from his rallies.
By contrast, the White House press corps follows Obama everywhere when he leaves the White House, even if it’s playing golf or going out to dinner with his wife.
At the White House, Obama, Trump and their wives did not appear together, as has been done in previous years. In fact, reporters were not able to see first lady Michelle Obama and incoming first lady Melania Trump at all. Nor did they see Vice President Joe Biden or his soon-to-be successor Mike Pence.
“In addition to breaking with decades of historical precedent and First Amendment principles, this decision could leave Americans blind about his whereabouts and well-being in the event of a national crisis,” White House Correspondents’ Association President Jeff Mason said.
“A pool of reporters is in place and ready to cover President-elect Trump. The WHCA urges President-elect Trump to allow it to do its job, including being present for motorcade movements, meetings, and other interactions. Not allowing a pool of journalists to travel with and cover the next president of the United States is unacceptable.”