As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Author Archives: Keith Koffler

Reporters: Trump Far More Accessible than Obama

So for all the groaning about President Trump beating up on reporters, turns out he is taking way more questions than President Obama, according to White House reporters interviewed by Politico.

And it’s true. Reporters have access to Trump almost every day. Obama was like some imperial satrap who would emerge from the Forbidden City every now and then to entertain a few queries from his subjects.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not so bad on Trump singling out for opprobrium individual reporters and news organizations. After all, Obama already normalized that. Trump has right to fight back against biased reporting. But I think it’s outrageous that he threatens broadcast licenses. It’s an attack on free speech by the government. That said, he’s giving reporters plenty of opportunities to do their jobs.

From Politico:

Jonathan Karl, the ABC White House reporter, had a surprising comment after Monday’s impromptu press conference by President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “I have probably had more opportunities to ask questions of President Trump over the past two weeks than I had of President Obama during the last two years of his presidency.”

The latest example was Monday, when Trump suddenly decided to have a full press conference in the Rose Garden and dragged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell out there with him.

Of course, some reporters complain even about that.

It was the latest example of Trump shunning the traditional, formal press conference normally associated with the presidency in favor of more freewheeling, impromptu exchanges. Though reporters say they appreciate the opportunity to ask questions, the scene created by press conferences like today’s may provide the exact type of image that could help the president in his ongoing battle against the press.

“It maximizes his advantage. Less time to prepare, the press is a little caught off guard,” said one White House reporter. It’s not that reporters have a hard time coming up with questions on the fly, he said, but the scenes of reporters jostling with each other for space and shouting questions over each other—like they were today—creates “a visual that works for him.”

On the other hand, the reporter agreed with Karl that Trump takes questions from reporters more often than Obama.

In terms of access to the president, this is the best situation I’ve seen since the last days of the Clinton administration, when a desperately needy Bill Clinton, dreading the approaching end of his presidency, would take questions until reporters had actually run out of them.

Trump Schedule || Tuesday, October 17, 2017

10:45 am || Meets with Secretary of Defense Mattis
12:05 pm || Meets with Greek Prime Minister Tsipras
1:30 pm || Holds a joint press conference with Prime Minister Tsipras; Rose Garden
3:15 pm || Participates in a Diwali ceremonial lighting of the Diya
7:10 pm || Gives remarks to the Heritage Foundation’s President’s Club Meeting; Washington

All times Eastern
Lives Stream of Trump press conference at 1:30 pm

Video || Trump Stages Show of Unity With McConnell

President Trump staged a news conference Monday with embattled Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is under fire from conservatives as a stale, long-term member of the Washington establishment who fails to support genuine conservatives for the Senate and who came up short getting the Senate to pass Obamacare repeal.

Trump’s best buddy show with McConnell will raise questions among conservatives about whether the president knows who his friends are.

“My relationship with this gentleman is outstanding – has been outstanding,” Trump said. Well, not it hasn’t.

Video || SNL Sends Up Ivana Trump

I don’t know, I thought this was funny. Just for the over-the-top performance. Ivana Trump took a page out of her husband’s playbook by stirring controversy to promote her new book, calling herself “the first lady.” Now she got a Saturday Night Live skit out of it too. Continue Reading

In Britain, Hillary Defends Kneeling NFL Players

Speaking to a foreign audience, Hillary Clinton Sunday defended NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem, saying they are doing it to protest racism in the criminal justice system and counter “dog whistles” by President Trump to his base. Hillary was promoting her new book at Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival: You have to… Continue Reading

Trump Schedule || Monday, October 16, 2017

10:30 am || Receives his daily intelligence briefing 11:30 am || Holds a Cabinet meeting; Cabinet Room 12:35 pm || Lunch with Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell 3:45 pm || Departs White House 5:25 pm || Arrives Greer, South Carolina 6:50 pm || Gives remarks at a McMaster for Governor… Continue Reading

Hey #NeverTrumpers, What’s Not to Like?

Some conservatives are so unyielding in their hatred of President Trump that they fail to recognize that they are living under the most conservative and decisive president since Ronald Reagan. Take a look at a few actual headlines, just from today: Trump decertifies Iran nuclear deal, slaps sanctions on IRGC in broadside at ‘radical regime’… Continue Reading

Weinstein Offers Republicans a New Chance with Women

Harvey Weinstein’s disgrace and the spectacle of so many liberals who advocate for women ignoring his transgressions provides the perfect opportunity for Republicans to make inroads into a voter segment among whom they consistently trail Democrats: Women. The hypocrisy of high-profile liberals is reflected not just in their willingness to ignore what Weinstein did, but in… Continue Reading