The Trump administration transition team is considering plans to open White House press briefings to more alternative media outlets. The plan, which includes moving the briefings to a larger venue on the White House complex, has some mainstream media journalists worried they’re losing their monopoly on presidential coverage.
Trump officials say the plan comes after the incoming administration received an outsized number of requests from media outlets with an interest in covering the new president.
Esquire on Saturday published a report indicating that Trump officials are looking at the possibility of relocating the on-site press to the White House Conference Center or to the Executive Office Building next door to the White House.
Legacy media is couching the plan as an effort to make it harder for members of the White House press pool to cover Trump’s actions.
But the Trump team says the considerations are being made simply in an effort to figure out how to allow as many interested outlets as possible to cover the president.
“There’s been so much interest in covering a President Donald Trump,” Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary, said. “A question is: Is a room that has forty-nine seats adequate? When we had that press conference the other day, we had thousands of requests, and we capped it at four hundred. Is there an opportunity to potentially allow more members of the media to be part of this? That’s something we’re discussing.”
In a statement, the White House Correspondents Association vowed to fight the move.
“We object strenuously to any move that would shield the president and his advisers from the scrutiny of an on-site White House press corps,” WHCA President Jeff Mason said in a statement.
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