Scott Thuman, chief political correspondent for WJLA in Washington, D.C. was one of just two U.S. reporters called on at this afternoon’s joint press conference between Pres. Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Two Canadian journalists also posed questions, which is customary in a bi-lateral news conference. Thuman, who is also a correspondent for Sunday public affairs program Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson, asked the president how he sees the U.S.-Canada relationship playing out.
It’s rare that a local TV news reporter would be called on during such an event. In fact, other White House reporters wanted to know if Thuman had been told he was going to be called on. He says he wasn’t, but that he was advised to attend. The second U.S. reporter called on was Kaitlan Collins of The Daily Caller who asked the president, “What do you see as the most important national security matters facing us?”
On CBS, Major Garrett made a point to mention that the “central personnel issue,” that of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was in the front row, was not brought up by either of the two U.S. reporters who were called on.
WJLA is owned by Sinclair, the Baltimore-based broadcaster that owns 173 TV stations across the U.S. In December, the Washington Post reviewed internal documents as well as Sinclair’s on-air reporting of the 2016 election and found “a strong tilt toward Trump. Sinclair gave a disproportionate amount of neutral or favorable coverage to Trump during the campaign while often casting [Hillary] Clinton in an unfavorable light.”