US President-elect Donald Trump plans to select the media representatives who are given access to the presidential press briefing room, but will not move the room out of the White House, he said in interview with Fox News broadcast on Wednesday.
Trump, whose election campaign was punctuated by a stream of Twitter messages, also said he plans to keep tweeting when he takes office on Friday. “Look, I don’t like tweeting. I have other things I could be doing. But I get very dishonest media, very dishonest press. And it’s my only way that I can counteract,” said the Republican president-elect.
A New York businessman and former reality TV star, Trump often used Twitter during the campaign to communicate his views, including his sometimes scathing opinions of rivals. Since winning the November election he has delivered a steady stream of tweets – often focused on countering critics.
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He has had a contentious relationship with some prominent US news organization that he refers to derisively as the “mainstream media,” banning some news outlets during the presidential campaign and publicly criticizing individual reporters.
Trump’s team had discussed moving news conferences out of the small West Wing briefing room to the Old Executive Office Building, which is part of the White House complex, incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sunday on ABC.
“The press went crazy, so I said, ‘Let’s not move it.’ But some people in the press will not be able to get in,” Trump told Fox in the interview broadcast on Wednesday.
“We have so many people that want to go in so we’ll have to just have to pick the people to go into the room – I’m sure other people will be thrilled about that,” he said. “But we offered a much larger room because we need a much larger room and we offered to do that, but they went crazy.”
“And they’ll be begging for a much larger room very soon, you watch.”
The current press room has about 49 seats, which are assigned by the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA). The current president of the WHCA is Jeff Mason, a Reuters correspondent.
Moving the briefing room could reduce access to White House officials, as the room is only steps from the Oval Office.