Changes Coming for White House Press Corp Under Trump Administration


Incoming Trump White House officials downplayed reports Sunday that the nascent Trump administration is planning to move reporters out of the White House, saying the issue is where to hold news conferences and briefings at the start of the new presidency.

“The only thing that’s been discussed is whether or not the initial press conferences are going to be in that small press (room),” incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told ABC’s This Week. “The press room that people see on TV is very, very tiny,” including only 49 seats for reporters.

Priebus responded to an Esquire story saying that “a plan to evict the press corps from the White House is under serious consideration by the incoming Trump Administration.”

Proposals include moving the press to the Old Executive Office Building, next to White House, or to the White House Conference Center, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the executive mansion.

Some of the talk reflects long-standing friction between Team Trump and the media, “I want ’em out of the building,” one unnamed Trump official told Esquire about the White House press corps. “We are taking back the press room.”

Reporters have had work stations in the White House for more than a century. The current White House press room, including the briefing room as well as work desks, sits atop an old indoor swimming pool, and has been around since the Nixon administration. The room where news briefings and press conference are held features 49 theater-style seats, though there is standing room for reporters who want to attend events of special interest.

Trump officials who hit the talk show circuit this weekend said the location of briefings and news conference is the issue, noting that hundreds and hundreds of journalists applied for credentials to Trump news conference last week.

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Source: USA Today | David M Jackson