Donald Trump’s relationship to the White House is already shaping up to be that of a vindictive landlord (he sure as hell doesn’t want to be a tenant). This comes as no surprise seeing as managing buildings is, at least nominally, well within Trump’s comfort zone, whereas getting along with other people, especially the press, is anathema to him.
Esquire published a report on Saturday in which three senior officials on the President-elect’s transition team claim that Trump is giving serious consideration to evicting the press corps from the White House, doing away with decades-long precedent. According to the sources, if Trump goes through with the plan, the media will be relocated to the White House Conference Center, or possibly to a building next door to the White House called the Old Executive Office Building.
On Saturday, Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer admitted that, “There has been some discussion,” about how to go about putting more physical distance between the President-elect and the press, but no decision has been made on the matter yet.
Spicer’s argument for why the press might need to pack their bags is quite odd. “There’s been so much interest in covering a President Donald Trump,” Spicer said. “A question is: Is a room that has forty-nine seats adequate?” So, what, the White House isn’t big enough? The President of the United States can’t acquire more chairs?
A senior official offered Esquire an explanation far more plausible than “too few chairs”: that this would be a power play, intended as a signal of the President’s extreme hostility towards the press.
“We are taking back the press room,” the senior official told Esquire, as if it could remain a press room without any reporters in it.