It’s been a tradition for presidents to hold an end-of-year press conference, generally to discuss their accomplishments over the year and to deliver holiday greetings. This year, however, will in all likelihood be the first time the president hasn’t given a year-end presser in 15 years, per a CNN report today.
So, why was that?
According to CNN’s own Jeff Zeleny, advisers to the president prevailed on him to buck the tradition because they didn’t want him to be inundated with questions about the Russia investigation.
President Trump wanted to hold a news conference, but aides prevailed on him not to, but he seemed eager to talk after he signed tax bill here in the Oval Office. pic.twitter.com/p2mJMBUf3C
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) December 22, 2017
New reporting via @jeffzeleny: Trump was eager to hold news conference to tout his accomplishments before holidays, but some advisers were eager to avoid him being besieged with questions about #Russia investigation and "other distractions".
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) December 22, 2017
Since his May interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt, the president has only given television interviews to Fox News, Christian broadcasting or Sinclair. In other words, Friends of Trump. The Holt interview, which occurred right after the president fired FBI Director James Comey, included Trump’s admission that the “whole Russia thing” played into his decision to can the FBI chief.
It did appear that the president wanted to mix it up with the press a bit earlier today. During his tax law signing, Trump spoke at length with the pool reporters and even took some questions before the press was shooed out.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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