Trump Skips Establishment Networks, Newspapers in Trudeau Press Conference

For President Trump’s third joint press conference with a foreign leader, the President skipped over the major broadcast networks, cable networks, liberal newspapers, and wire services on Monday with Canadien Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In lieu of those outlets, he called on Sinclair Broadcasting Group and The Daily Caller. 

Leading off the appearance with Trudeau was Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Scott Thuman, who’s home base is the Washington D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA.

Here’s Thuman’s question about terrorism and the relationship between the two based on the brief time they’ve spent together: 

You just spoke about the desire to build bridges although there are some notable and philosophical differences between yourself and Prime Minister Trudeau, I'm curious, as you move forward on issues from trade to terrorism, how do you see these relationships playing out and are there any specific areas with which, during your consecrations today, you both decided to perhaps alter or amend your stances already on those sensitive issues, like terrorism and immigration. And Prime Minister Trudeau, while only in its infancy so far, how do you see this relationship compared to that under the Obama relationship? 

These press conferences generally alternate between questions from the American and foreign press, so the second one was granted to Toronto Star’s Tonda MacCharles. While lacking the same bite that a BBC reporter did in a question to Trump on January 27, MacCharles wondered:

Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister. Mr. Prime Minister can you answer in French and English. A little bit of a follow-on my colleague's question. President Trump, you seem to suggest that Syrian refugees are a Trojan horse for potential terrorism while the Prime Minister hugs refugees and welcomes them with open arms. So, I’d like to know, are you confident the northern border is secure? 

With the establishment media panicking they weren’t going to be called on and tag-team, Trump gave the final U.S. question to Daily Caller White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins. 

Collins wondered what Trump found to be “the most important national security matters facing us” after having “received intelligence briefings for nearly one month.” As for Trudeau, Collins invited him to comment on Trump’s immigration executive order seeing as how Canada has portrayed itself as providing open-door to refugees.

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The last question of the Monday’s event went to Richard Latendresse of TVA (which is a top French-speaking Canadien network). Latendresse first asked Trudeau’s question in French, which was provided in English by a translator:

Mr. Prime Minister, if I heard you correctly, you said that Canadian businesses, Canadian workers are concerned for their businesses and for their work and jobs concerning the renegotiation of NAFTA. So what guarantees did you get from this government that we will keep our jobs and our businesses in the negotiation of NAFTA? 

Latendresse switched over to English for Trump with a slightly different tone, pointing out that he’s “denounced NAFTA” and “talked over and over about the Mexican portion of the agreement, very little about the Canadian one.”

“My questions, in two short parts, is Canada a fair-trader? And when you talk about changes to NAFTA, concerning Canada, are you talking about big changes or small changes,” Latendresse concluded.

At the conclusion of the press conference, the mainstream media went full DEFCON 1 over how the President refused to call on any of them and thus offered no comment on the drama surrounding National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump’s second joint press conference with a foreign leader occurred on Friday as he welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the White House. At that event, Trump’s U.S. media picks were New York Post’s Daniel Halper and Fox Business Network’s Blake Burman. Going back to his first such event on January 27 with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump’s two questions went to Reuters and the Fox News Channel (FNC).

Here’s the transcript of the questions from the Trump-Trudeau press conference:

White House Joint Press Conference
February 13, 2017
2:28 p.m. Eastern

SCOTT THUMAN (Sinclair): You just spoke about the desire to build bridges although there are some notable and philosophical differences between yourself and Prime Minister Trudeau, I'm curious, as you move forward on issues from trade to terrorism, how do you see these relationships playing out and are there any specific areas with which, during your consecrations today, you both decided to perhaps alter or amend your stances already on those sensitive issues, like terrorism and immigration. And Prime Minister Trudeau, while only in its infancy so far, how do you see this relationship compared to that under the Obama relationship? 

(....)

TONDA MACCHARLES (Toronto Star): Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister. Mr. Prime Minister can you answer in French and English. A little bit of a follow-on my colleague's question. President Trump, you seem to suggest that Syrian refugees are a Trojan horse for potential terrorism while the Prime Minister hugs refugees and welcomes them with open arms. So, I’d like to know, are you confident the northern border is secure? 

(....)

KAITLAN COLLINS (Daily Caller): President Trump, now that you've been in office and have received intelligence briefings for nearly one month, what do you see as the most important national security matters facing us? And Prime Minister Trudeau, you’ve made very clear that Canada has an open-door policy for Syrian refugees. Do you believe that President Trump's moratorium on immigration has merit on national security grounds?

(....)

RICHARD LATENDRESSE (TVA): [TRANSLATOR IN FRENCH] Mr. Prime Minister, if I heard you correctly, you said that Canadian businesses, Canadian workers are concerned for their businesses and for their work and jobs concerning the renegotiation of NAFTA. So what guarantees did you get from this government that we will keep our jobs and our businesses in the negotiation of NAFTA? [IN ENGLISH] Mr. President, in the last three months, you have denounced NAFTA. You have talked over and over about the Mexican portion of the agreement, very little about the Canadian one. My questions, in two short parts, is Canada a fair trader? And when you talk about changes to NAFTA, concerning Canada, are you talking about big changes or small changes?

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center