‘Their ass is on fire all day’: Trump’s White House press office has no idea what the president is doing
In a deep dive into the brief history of President Donald Trump’s White House Press office, reporters who deal with it on a daily basis state that staffers most days have no idea what the president is going to be doing and continually scramble to keep up.
According to Politico, embattled White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is often put on the spot because communications between the president and his spokespeople is horrific, made worse by a President who regularly calls news reports “fake news” on Twitter.
Trump confidante Chris Ruddy noted that the president had previously had a good relationship with the press stating, “He built his career by being media-friendly. The last 18 months have been something of an aberration in his approach,” before adding that Trump’s attacks on the press now are an attempt to create “a negotiating position by calling the press the enemy of the people.”
That in turn has created chaos for the White House press office.
“Mostly they’re just reactive and incompetent,” explained one White House correspondent. “They don’t have time, man. They don’t have time. Their ass is on fire all day, every day. These are not evil geniuses. … It’s not some sort of wonderful, malevolent plot to destroy the media. These people are in a 24-7 state of panic.”
According to CBS correspondent Major Garrett, he has found White House press staffers seem to have no idea what Trump is up to and are forced to scramble.
“It may or may not persist, but I would be willing to give this administration some time to sort that out,” Garrett explained, “because many people arrived with no particular history or professional comprehension of the things they needed to sort out in terms of information flow.”
Then there is the outright lying.
One correspondent claims he was warned to question information fed to him on background.
“They will screw with you,” the correspondent was told. “They will feed you things that are not true.”
Another added, “I don’t trust anything I’m told by a comms person. If they’re telling me something’s wrong, I’m going to keep checking.”