Trump Still Hiding From the Press


Will Donald Trump ever talk to the press again? It’s been four months since his last press conference, and there’s no sign that he plans to hold one anytime soon. During the campaign, he barely spoke to anyone aside from Sean Hannity. In the two weeks since he won the election, it’s been even worse: Trump has been all but invisible aside from his periodic Twitter outbursts.

It’s a good question how this is going to work out. Press conferences have become fairly rare events in the past few decades, and they’re less useful than they used to be anyway. Presidents control them tightly and then filibuster every question as a way of cutting down the amount of interaction they’re forced to have. Obama did this as much as any president in recent history.

Still, Trump probably can’t get rid of press conferences completely. When the prime minister of Latveria comes to visit, you pretty much have to hold a joint press conference at some point. Beyond that, though, who knows? Maybe he’ll decide to convert the briefing room back into an indoor swimming pool and tell the press to take a hike. Alternatively, he might build a brand new, gold-encrusted briefing room and decide to act as his own press secretary. With Trump, there’s no telling.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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