Donald Trump’s plan to change White House briefing protocol, as well as a report that his Washington, D.C. hotel is turning away members of the press in the week leading up to his inauguration, indicates that the President-elect is likely to continue his adversarial relationship with the press after he is sworn into office Friday.
Following a Saturday report that Trump’s incoming administration was considering a plan to remove the press corps from the White House, Trump said in an interview with “Fox and Friends” broadcast Wednesday that there are “just too many” reporters to fit into the White House briefing room.
“We have to just pick the people that go into the room,” he said.
Seating assignments in the briefing room are arranged by the White House Correspondents’ Association, as WHCA President Jeff Mason noted in a statement obtained by ABC News.
“The WHCA assumed responsibility for assigning the seats in the briefing room over the last two decades at the request of both Republican and Democratic administrations, who were mindful of the potential appearance of playing favorites if they assigned the seats themselves,” Mason wrote.
In addition, the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. has banned the press from its premises during the week leading up to Trump’s inauguration, according to a Politico report.
“Media is not allowed in this week in respect of the privacy of our guests,” director of sales and marketing Patricia Tang wrote in an email to a Politico reporter who wrote that he was turned away from the hotel after trying to enter for a breakfast meeting and identifying himself as a reporter.
Trump leases the building the hotel is housed in from the General Services Administration, in a contract which the federal agency says Trump will violate as soon as he is sworn into office.