On Monday, Donald Trump met with multiple figures in the mainstream media in an “off-the-record” gathering, in which the attendees apparently thought there would be “a reset for the business mogul and the media,” (more like a programming of the media). According to anonymous testimonies of some who were present, however, Trump spent most of the time throwing a tantrum, and scolding those who reported on him in an unfavorable light.
Among those who attended the meeting were network presidents, including NBC’s Deborah Turness and ABC’s James Goldston. Also present were “high-profile anchors,” such as Wolf Blitzer of CNN. Here is a list of additional attendees:
Joined by Trump was Stephen Bannon, Reince Priebus, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Because the meeting was off-the-record, none present could comment to reporters afterwards, but details have since been leaked, with some participants calling the meeting “contentious.” According to the New York Post, among those who were scolded was CNN chief, Jeff Zucker, who was told by Trump that he (and his network) “is a liar and you should be ashamed.” In Politico’s report it’s said that NBC’s president was reprimanded for using unflattering photos of the President elect.
“It was like a f#cking firing squad,” stated one source.
Private meetings between presidents and media heads – though understandably questionable to average citizens – is actually quite common, but according to the Huffington Post, it’s less common for both heads of networks and top on-air talent to meet with the president. The Huffington Post continues that the media failed to challenge Trump’s unprecedented constraints on the press, noting that he hasn’t held a news conference since July.
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