NEWS

Donald Trump Threatens To Stop Holding Press Briefings

Sure, all the best democracies cut off press access.

12/05/2017 5:43 PM IST | Updated 12/05/2017 10:00 PM IST

President Donald Trump on Friday lashed out at the media, threatening to stop holding press briefings.

The threat appeared to be in reference to media backlash against Trump’s surrogates, who this week offered contradictory explanations of the president’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. Trump claimed in a tweet that it wasn’t possible for them to be accurate because he’s so busy.

At first, the White House claimed the president had acted on recommendations from the Justice Department and that the decision was not related to the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign’s Kremlin ties. But just two days later, Trump admitted that he’d been considering firing Comey since before he took office and that he did make his decision partly because of the Russia investigation.

It’s not the first time the White House has threatened to cut off press access. Earlier this year, he suggested he might limit which news organizations could attend briefings.

“Some people in the press will not be able to get in,” he said at the time. 

Trump often lashes out at media outlets, wielding the phrase “fake news.” He repeatedly banned certain news outlets and journalists from attending his events during the presidential campaign, and even raised the idea of changing libel laws to make it easier to sue news organizations.

The president most recently invited criticism after he banned U.S. press from his meeting with the Russian ambassador on Wednesday, but let in Russian state media.

Reuters’ Jeff Mason, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, released the following statement on Trump’s tweet:

This article has been updated with comment from Mason.

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