President-elect Donald Trump and his allies are back to trading barbs with the press on several fronts, hinting at a potential overhaul of the White House briefings while sparring anew with reporters and publications that crossed them.
The president-elect started his day Thursday with a Twitter swipe at Vanity Fair, saying the magazine is in “big trouble.”
The tweet followed a string of critical pieces from the publication, including the article that topped their home page Thursday morning, under the headline: “Trump Grill could be the worst restaurant in America.”
This comes amid a clash with Julia Ioffe, a now-ex Politico writer set to join The Atlantic – after Ioffe tweeted regarding Ivanka Trump: “Either Trump is f—ing his daughter or he’s shirking nepotism laws. Which is worse?”
Politico swiftly cut ties with Ioffe, who subsequently deleted the tweet and apologized for the “crass joke.”
But her new employer could face repercussions. GotNews.com reported that a Trump source said the team now wants to cut off access to The Atlantic, amid other complaints about the magazine’s coverage of the administration-in-waiting.
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, meanwhile, touched off a Washington tizzy Wednesday after suggesting changes ahead for the traditional White House press briefings.
“I think that it’s important that we look at all of those traditions that are great, but quite frankly, as you know, don’t really make news and they’re just sort of mundane, boring episodes,” he told radio host Hugh Hewitt, specifically citing the daily briefings.
“It just so happens that we’re actually talking about those things right now,” Priebus said when asked about the plans for the press corps.
Priebus also said the “formalized reserved seating” in the briefing room is being discussed, claiming some of that started under the Obama administration.
Priebus, however, was called to task for that claim by both the White House and White House Correspondents’ Association.
WHCA President Jeff Mason noted that news organizations have had assigned seats in that room “since those seats were installed in 1981.”
“That was not an Obama-era innovation as Mr. Priebus suggested. 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. The WHCA looks forward to meeting with the incoming administration to address questions and concerns on both sides about exactly this sort of issue,” he said in a statement.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest also said the Obama White House has not had control over the seating assignments.