After a campaign marked by clashes between network correspondents and the campaign of Donald Trump, journalists say access to the President-elect has not improved, breaking long tradition.
“The White House Correspondents’ Association is deeply concerned by President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to reject the practice of traveling with a ‘protective pool’ of reporters for his first visit to Washington since the election,” White House Correspondents Association president Jeff Mason said in a statement following the traditional Oval Office meeting Thursday between the President and President-elect.
“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,” 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.”
“We fully expect to operate a traditional pool and look forward to implementing our plans in the near future,” Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks wrote told Politico. “We appreciate your patience as we navigate the transition process.”