White House Correspondents’ Association head Jeff Mason said his organization, which coordinates with the White House for independent news coverage of the president, has made “a lot of progress” working with the Trump transition team.
From Washington Examiner
On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Mason said the collective pool of political reporters that the WHCA represents has not had as much access to President-elect Trump as it would like, but that they have had some success in coordinating how Trump will be covered during his transition into the White House.
“He has been respectful of bringing a pool now when he goes out for dinner in New York, for example,” Mason said Thursday.
He said the WHCA hasn’t “gotten as far as we want,” for example, installing a reporter on Trump’s private airplane when the president-elect is traveling, a step that Mason said the Trump team has said will not happen during the transition period.
“We’re not all the way there but we’ve made a lot of progress and that reflects a lot of effort on their side, as well,” he said.
On Wednesday, incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said in a radio interview that the new Trump administration may “revisit” certain traditions at the White House, including how the daily press briefing operates.
He did not give specifics but some reporters interpreted his remark as a possible suggestion that the briefing may be eliminated in some way or that the White House may take over control from the WHCA how seats in the briefing room are assigned to reporters.
“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 said in a statement after Priebus’ interview aired. “The WHCA looks forward to meeting with the incoming administration to address questions and concerns on both sides about exactly this sort of issue.”