While there is no love lost between President Donald Trump and some media outlets, he received a surprising compliment from an unlikely newspaper source recently.
White House Correspondent Glenn Thrush of the New York Times praised Trump for handling press conferences better than his predecessor.
— 1A (@1a) April 24, 2017
“I do want to give Trump credit on things. I think one of the things that I think he’s doing better than Barack Obama are these press conferences and his outreach to individual reporters — even for organizations, like my own, that he criticizes,” Thrush said during an appearance on the WAMU/NPR program, 1A on Monday, titled “A Front Row Seat to Spin.”
“When Obama had press conferences, he had a single piece of white paper and he had six or seven organizations that he had pre-selected to call upon, and a lot of them were favorable to him,” he continued.
“Trump’s free-ranging press conferences, I think, are a lot more democratic than the way Obama conducted them,” Thrush added in the panel discussion with two other reporters, CNN’s Jim Acosta and The Washington Post’s Ashley Parker.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) April 24, 2017
While Acosta has had well-known clashes with the president and his Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Thrush and the Times have sparred with the administration as well. His positive remarks about Trump’s outreach to journalists are notable due to the contentious relationship between the president and the media, in particular the New York Times which he has often criticized.
Trump has opted out the White House Correspondents Dinner planned for Saturday, planning instead a ” BIG rally” in Pennsylvania. Acosta felt the president skipping the dinner will be a “missed opportunity.”
— 1A (@1a) April 24, 2017
And while the unlikely compliment of Trump from Thrush signaled a departure for the reporter and the liberal publication, some conservative media members were less than happy with the president earlier this week.
About 30 conservative reporters, editors, columnists and radio personalities were invited to what they thought was an exclusive background briefing with the president on Monday, according to The Hill.
Thinking they could not attribute quotes to individual sources at the meeting, reporters were frustrated to learn otherwise after the event.
According to The Hill:
Representatives from Newsmax, Breitbart, Townhall, The Daily Caller and radio voices like Larry O’Connor and John Fredericks mingled with White House press secretary Sean Spicer, chief strategist Stephen Bannon, chief of staff Reince Priebus and the White House communications team.
Reporters were asked to surrender their cellphones before entering the Roosevelt Room, a meeting room in the West Wing across from the Oval Office. Their phones were stored in lockers outside the room.
One source said White House director of media affairs Helen Aguirre Ferre explained that phones had to be kept out because the Roosevelt Room is a SCIF, or a sensitive compartmented information facility, where officials view classified information.
The media members were aggravated to learn later that the meeting was, in fact, on the record and they could go ahead and quote sources. None of them, of course, had been able to record the conversations.
“The incompetence by the White House press staff does not serve the president’s interests well,” one person present at the event told The Hill.
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