Donald Trump’s press secretary has issued a thinly veiled threat to news outlets, hinting that the new US president could bypass journalists entirely.
Sean Spicer set the tone for a cold relationship on his first day in office, when he accused the media of “deliberate false reporting” about the number of people, who attended Mr Trump’s inauguration. After the 10 minute briefing, he also refused to take questions from reporters.
During the briefing, he issued a clear warning that Mr Trump’s administration would “hold the press accountable”.
“There has been a lot of talks in the media about how to hold Donald Trump accountable and I’m here to tell you that it goes two ways. We are here to hold the press accountable as well,” Mr Spicer told the journalists.
The statement has left many in the media pondering what this could mean in practice for reporters reporting on the White House.
Mr Trump has gained notoriety for his use of social media, and particularly Twitter, to express his views and communicate directly with his supporters.
After slamming coverage of crowd sizes at Mr Trump's inauguration as “dishonest”, Mr Spicer warned journalists: “The American people deserve better and as long as he [Donald Trump] serves as the messenger for his incredible movement, he will take his message directly to the American people where his focus will always be.”
His comments echosed those made by Mr Trump himself. In a speech at the CIA's headquarters MR Trump said he was in “a running war with the media” and described journalists as “the most dishonest beings on earth”.
Previously Mr Spicer told the Washington-based news website Daily Caller that Mr Trump has no plans of stopping his Twitter activity when taking office. "He added: He can put his thoughts out and hear what they’re thinking in a way that no one has ever been able to do before.”
As Mr Trump’s tweets continue to grab journalists’ attention around the world, this could become part of routine reporting to understand what is going on in Washington’s Oval office.
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