WHCA says it's 'unacceptable' for Donald Trump to ditch the press pool
The White House Correspondents' Association pushed back Wednesday after President-elect Donald Trump left reporters behind to have dinner with his family.
Trump's team declared a "lid" on his activities Tuesday evening, meaning that reporters who follow him weren't expecting another event on his schedule. He then visited Manhattan's 21 Club for dinner with his family.
In its statement, White House Correspondents' Association President Jeff Mason called the decision to slip the press "unacceptable."
"One week after the election, it is unacceptable for the next president of the United States to travel without a regular pool to record his movements and inform the public about his whereabouts," wrote Mason, the White House correspondent for Reuters.
It is customary for presidential candidates — and the president-elect — to be followed by reporters who serve as surrogates for the public by monitoring their movements. Trump's transition team has not yet established a protective pool, but his colleagues have assured reporters one is coming soon.
Trump previously left reporters behind when he met President Obama at the White House last week.
On Tuesday President-elect Trump went out for dinner in New York without a pool of journalists in his motorcade and after reporters were advised that he was in for the night. One week after the election, it is unacceptable for the next president of the United States to travel without a regular pool to record his movements and inform the public about his whereabouts.
The White House Correspondents' Association is pleased to hear reassurances by the Trump transition team that it will respect long-held traditions of press access at the White House and support a pool structure. But the time to act on that promise is now. Pool reporters are in place in New York to cover the president-elect as he assembles his new administration. It is critical that they be allowed to do their jobs.