President Donald Trump during a joint press conference on Monday managed to avoid questions about concerns that embattled National Security Adviser Michael Flynn misled Trump officials about his communications with Russia’s ambassador.
A Washington Post story published last week said Flynn may have lied to Mike Pence, then the vice president-elect, about whether the adviser discussed US-Russia sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump took office, raising concerns about Flynn’s future in the White House.
But despite the story’s front-page treatment in newspapers like The Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, the American journalists Trump called on during his joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not confront Trump about the national security adviser.
Scott Thurman from ABC7 Sinclair asked a broad question about the “philosophical differences” between Trump and Trudeau, while Kaitlan Collins, The Daily Caller’s White House reporter, asked Trump what he saw as the largest national-security threat facing the US.
Several reporters noted the absence of a question about Flynn, which some journalists such as ABC’s Jon Karl attempted to ask Trump as he left the press conference.
Some prominent former Democratic staffers were also quick to criticise the questions at the press conference.
This isn’t the first time the new administration has been scrutinised for its selection of questioners.
Trump’s team faced some criticism after the president’s press conference last week for taking questions from only outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch, who has deep personal and financial ties to Trump. White House press secretary Sean Spicer has attempted to include smaller news outlets in press briefings, including local outlets, as well as some questioners who supported Trump during the campaign.
Hearing reporters gripe about the lack of Flynn questions now: “I’m just embarrassed for us. That was really embarrassing.”
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) February 13, 2017
Journos dropped ball by not asking about Flynn. Also, legacy media sound like whiny frat from “Breaking Away” re: smaller outlets called on. pic.twitter.com/pwKBF6v4xf
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) February 13, 2017
At 2 pressers in 4 days, Trump exclusively called on conservative news orgs that did not ask about Flynn. Reporters shouted Qs just now.
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) February 13, 2017
The National Security Advisor is accused of breaking the law and lying to the public and the Vice President and not one question is asked.
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) February 13, 2017
If you’re wondering why no Flynn questions, Trump took q’s from:
2. A Sinclair affiliate, who he cut a coverage deal with
— Rob Flaherty (@Rob_Flaherty) February 13, 2017
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