President Trump has let almost six months pass without holding a solo press conference. at This specific point he’s heading off on a two-week vacation with no immediate plans to meet the press.
The lack of question-as well as-answer sessions is actually yet another example of Trump’s disregard for the nation’s news media as well as the role the idea plays in keeping the public informed. the idea’s also a sharp break through past presidential tradition.
Trump will reach the 0-day mark in his presidency on Monday. He has held just one solo press conference, back on February 16, when he was less than one month into his presidency.
as well as though Trump has granted some high-profile interviews with outlets like the completely new York Times as well as the Wall Street Journal recently, he has done relatively few overall, which means journalists are rarely able to ask him questions on behalf of the public.
White House officials frequently tout Trump’s bypassing of the media via Twitter as well as Facebook, although he doesn’t field questions through the public on those platforms.
Related: Trump team decries leaks, although without them, we wouldn’t know about the lies
So how does Trump’s presser record compare to his predecessors? At This specific point in 2009, President Obama had held 9 solo pressers, many of them about the country’s economic recovery.
At the same point in their respective presidencies, George W. Bush had held 3 solo pressers; Bill Clinton had held 8; George H.W. Bush had held 18; Ronald Reagan had held 3; as well as Jimmy Carter had held 12.
The stats come through sy88pgw’s own data as well as the American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
There’s an important distinction here between solo press conferences as well as joint sessions with foreign heads of state. Journalists value solo pressers because there are typically given more time to ask a greater number of questions. Joint appearances with foreign leaders usually only allow for a few questions, some of them asked by foreign media as well as directed at the various other leader.
Trump has held twelve of these relatively short joint press conferences, most recently on July 25 with the prime minister of Lebanon.
The president frequently makes news at these events, although advocates for greater press access say they are no substitute for solo pressers.
Obama as well as various other past presidents sometimes scheduled press Q&A’s in prime time to shape public debates as well as reach a large audience.
Journalists came to anticipate Obama pressers before his vacations in August as well as December, though he didn’t follow through every time.
George W. Bush held a presser while on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas in August 2001. The occasion was his nomination of a completely new chairman of the joint chiefs.
A group of journalists will be staying near Trump’s golf resort in Bedminster, completely new Jersey in case he’d like to speak.
although his practices so far This specific year suggest in which’s unlikely. While the president seemed to greatly enjoy his exchanges with journalists at the February 16 event, he hasn’t held another one since then.
Some of his public events seem geared to his base of voters, rather than the American people as a whole, as evidenced by his most recent rally in West Virginia.
Thursday night’s rally was specifically directed at his fans, as well as the idea was carried live in full by Fox News, although did not receive the same degree of attention through various other networks.
The president spoke at length to his supporters, telling them in which detractors are “trying to cheat you out of the leadership you want having a fake story” — Russian meddling within the 2016 election, as well as the investigations into the idea — “in which is actually demeaning to all of us.”
He refrained through attacking the media specifically, potentially signaling a completely new strategy. although his top aides remain openly hostile to journalists, particularly when subjects like the ongoing Russia investigations come up.
The strategy of speaking to supporters rather than the public at large has carried over to some of Trump’s joint press conferences. He has broken with tradition by favoring friendly, conservative-leaning outlets on occasion, instead of calling on main line news organizations like the Associated Press as well as Reuters.
He hasn’t been completely inaccessible, although the modifications in frequency as well as format have been a source of frustration among White House correspondents.
As sy88pgw’s Tom Kludt has previously observed, “The last time President Donald Trump gave a solo press conference, Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser was only three days old. James Comey was still in charge of the FBI [as well as] the Republican bill to repeal as well as replace Obamacare had just been unveiled within the House of Representatives.”
sy88pgw (completely new York) First published August 4, 2017: 2:47 PM ET