Donald Trump Might Be Kicking The Press Out Of The White House — And Reporters Are NOT Happy About It!

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This feels like the beginning of the end of Freedom of the Press

Over the weekend, Esquire reported that three senior officials on Donald Trump‘s transition team say the incoming Administration is seriously considering a plan to kick the press corps out of the White House.

One official told the magazine that, if the plan is approved, the media will no longer gather in the White House press room, but will instead either assemble at the White House Conference Center near Lafayette Square or the Old Executive Office Building next door.

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Incoming press secretary Sean Spicer told Esquire nothing is set in stone yet, saying:

“There has been no decision. There has been some discussion about how to do it.”

However, Sean justified the possible move by claiming there just isn’t enough room in the White House press room, adding:

“There’s been so much interest in covering a President Donald Trump. 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.”

But one senior official made it seem like the reasoning is much pettier, exclaiming:

“They are the opposition party. I want ’em out of the building. We are taking back the press room.”

Real mature. So constitutional. Great.

And somehow, incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus tried to tell George Stephanopolous that a move to the EOB wouldn’t actually be off-site, saying on This Week With George Stephanopoulos:

“The one thing that we discussed was whether or not we want to do conferences in the [Executive Office Building], which, by the way, is the White House. So no one is moving out of the White House. That is the White House, where you can fit four times the amount of people in the press conference, allowing more press, more press coverage from all over the country to have those press conferences. That’s what we’re talking about.”

Except that it’s still a completely separate building…

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The journalists are already pushing back against the proposed move. On Sunday, White House Correspondents’ Association president Jeff Mason said in a statement:

“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.”

He added that the media isn’t going to let Trump remove them from the press room without any friction:

“The briefing room is open now to all reporters who request access. We support that and always will. The WHCA will fight to keep the briefing room and West Wing access to senior administration officials open.”

While reporters have had a place to work at the White House since Teddy Roosevelt‘s presidency, the current press room has been around since Richard Nixon‘s time in office.

Veteran CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer, who has covered EIGHT administrations, told the New York Times the media will continue to call Trump out no matter where they’re located, saying:

“They’re not the first administration that’s come to office thinking they can control every single word that’s said about them. It’s their call, they can do what they want to do, and if the public puts up with it, they’ll continue to do it that way. If they think they’re not going to get the same intense coverage, they’ve been smoking something.”

What do U make of all this, Perezcious readers?

Jan 16, 2017 4:38pm PDT

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