Trump avoids tough questions on Russia relationship by calling on conservative outlets during press conference

Donald trumpAlex Wong/Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump at a press conference.

President Donald Trump during a joint press conference on Wednesday managed to avoid questions related to reported revelations about contact between his campaign and Russian intelligence agencies.

Following former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation Monday evening amid questions about statements he made to Russia government officials, a flurry of reports revealed an FBI investigation into private communication between Trump’s top campaign officials and Russian intelligence.

Yet the president avoided questions during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, instead fielding questions from right-leaning media outlets about administration policies in the Middle East.

Townhall’s Katie Pavlich, a conservative commentator, asked Trump to lay out “compromises you have in mind” for a potential Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody alluded to the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia, but did not attempt to dig further into Trump’s knowledge of the communications or the ongoing investigation. Instead, he asked if “some of those events with those communications to Russia would hamper the nuclear deal.”

Trump has managed to avoid difficult questions about his administration from American outlets during joint press conferences.

During a press conference on Monday before Flynn’s resignation, Trump selected reporters from The Daily Caller and Sinclair media, outlets generally considered sympathetic to Trump’s presidency. Scott Thurman from ABC7 Sinclair asked about the “philosophical differences” between Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while the Caller’s Kaitlan Collins asked Trump to name the biggest security threat to the US.

The White House previously raised eyebrows after the president only took questions during his press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch, who has longstanding personal and financial ties to Trump.

The prominence of smaller outlets among the questioners comes as White House press secretary Sean Spicer has attempted to call on a more diverse range of media, including local outlets and even former Trump campaign supporters.

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