At the three most recent press conferences held by President Donald Trump, he has exclusively called on conservative-leaning firms and sites for questions.
On February 10, during a joint conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump called on the New York Post and Fox Business News. Three days later when taking questions alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump picked Sinclair-Broadcasting-owned WJLA and the Daily Caller to ask questions. And on Wednesday when appearing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump chose the Christian Broadcasting News and Townhall.com.
Neither CBN nor Townhall.com asked President Trump about national security advisor Michael Flynn’s resignation or the slew of reports about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence agents.
Just stunning that Pres. Trump walked into a news conference and wasn’t asked about the biggest story in the world today.
— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) February 14, 2017
So — the two reporters called on today: Christian Broadcasting Network and Town Hall. No question on Trump/Russia contacts.
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) February 15, 2017
Mainstream media journalists have been locked out from directly asking Trump any questions at all. CNN’s Jim Acosta voiced a question about Russia, which the president ignored.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) February 15, 2017
Reporters have been blasting the president and Spicer both for avoiding difficult questions by cherry-picking only favorable, conservative sites.
Typically, past presidents have traditionally called on the Associated Press for the first question in a press conference, followed by major news organizations.
Spicer himself has taken questions from some mainstream outlets such as USA TODAY, ABC News and Reuters, although he has called on right-leaning media such as Breitbart, the Daily Mail and the Washington Times, far more frequently.
If President Trump leaves this press conference without answering a question about Russia, it’s a blow to the free press.
— Matt Viser (@mviser) February 15, 2017
Trump has called on ONLY conservative outlets in his last 3 joint press conferences.
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) February 15, 2017
Calling on only conservative press who refuse to press @realDonaldTrump about his Russia connections is not freedom of the press.
— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiPrzybyla) February 15, 2017
Trump is afraid of the real media. Is creating Potemkin Press conferences. Real questions will not be tolerated. Betrayal of public trust
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) February 15, 2017
Christian Broadcasting Network given the first question at Trump’s press conference.
— Michael M. Grynbaum (@grynbaum) February 15, 2017
So apparently Donald Trump won’t be taking *any* questions from media outlets that aren’t markedly conservative.
— Jarrett Hill (@JarrettHill) February 15, 2017
Trump ducking questions from big media outlets to avoid discussing Russia, calls on conservative outlets only so far
— John Bresnahan (@BresPolitico) February 15, 2017
Remarkable how the conservative media Qs to Trump are shaped to make no real news
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) February 15, 2017
Trump fields a pair of questions from conservative-leaning US outlets. Nothing yet on contact between his campaign and Russia
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) February 15, 2017
To be clear to viewers around the world, in the last 3 press conferences, Trump has ONLY called on conservative news outlets for questions
— Katty Kay (@KattyKayBBC) February 15, 2017
Trump again handpicks reporters–from Christian Broadcasting & a conservative website–so that no one asks him any tough questions on Russia
— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) February 15, 2017
Who will Trump call in today’s press conference? Bannon in a wig, and then Bannon in a different wig?
— Jonathan Bernstein (@jbview) February 15, 2017
Dear colleagues in the Israeli press corps: Please ask Donald Trump about Russian contacts if you’re called on at today’s press conference.
— Reid J. Epstein (@reidepstein) February 15, 2017