For the second time in less than a week, President-Elect Donald Trump has again ignored precedent and protocol, travelling without the journalists assigned to cover him and his movements.
Hope Hicks, Trump’s press secretary, announced late Tuesday there would be no news or travel for the remainder of the day. However, later Trump secretly took his family to the nearby 21 Club restaurant for dinner.
A “protective pool” of reporters covers the activities of the president-elect for the media at large. This pool is overseen by the White House Correspondents Association, and is designed to guarantee the president is always covered while travelling.
WHCA President Jeff Mason has called on the president elect to agree to a “protective pool” during the transition. Not allowing this, he wrote, would be a “serious breach of historical precedent.”
In a released statement, Mason criticized the transition’s lack of allowing a pool of journalists to travel with the president-elect.
“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. 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. 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.”
@stuart_zechman The protective pool is always important to chronicle history, but especially in times of crisis. Like 9/11.
— Olivier Knox (@OKnox) November 10, 2016