Proving they always can find something to complain about when it comes to Trump, journalists from NBC, MSNBC and CNN all took to Twitter to whine about the “freedom of the press” being squashed during Trump’s trip to China this week, where he conceded to China’s request for no press questions during their joint conference.
Journalists even took Obama staffers at their word, spinning the “fact” that Trump was the first president to ever do such a thing. If they had done even the slightest bit of research, they would’ve seen how wrong they were.
In 2009, President Obama also acquiesced to China’s leader's request to not take press questions, during his first trip to the communist country. Yet Obama staffers were out in full force blasting Trump for doing exactly the same thing their boss did just eight years earlier:
I once had to tell Chinese officials that Pres. Obama would not show up for the press avail unless there would be a Q&A. They backed down. https://t.co/Z2LdwSYK9k— Jay Carney (@JayCarney) November 9, 2017
Trump's idea of the art of the deal: Roll over.— Ned Price (@nedprice) November 9, 2017
The Obama WH didn't accept the "Chinese insistence" (nor the Cuban, Ethiopian, etc.) https://t.co/J9NR3szNPl
Journalists took that note to criticize President Trump, holding him to a standard they didn’t even hold President Obama to. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough sneered, “Mr. President, we have a First Amendment whether China, and you, like it or not:"
Mr. President, we have a First Amendment whether China (and you) like it or not. https://t.co/ekO3RTp8hJ— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) November 9, 2017
Keith Boykin, CNN political commentator and former White House aide to Bill Clinton lamented Trump’s activity in China, saying he “bowed to Chinese insistence not to allow reporters’ questions”:
When Obama was president:— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 9, 2017
1. Trump promised to call China a currency manipulator
2. Said China is "robbing us blind"
Today in China:
1. He said "I don't blame China"
2. Refused to call them currency manipulators
3. Bowed to "Chinese insistence" not to allow reporters' questions https://t.co/2Yzgyf7uCz
CNN’s Jim Sciutto wailed that Trump had given China an “invaluable gift” by "muffling the media:"
This is an invaluable gift to China, a country that muffles its media and stifles dissent, as is Trump’s habitual attack on US media which plays into Beijing’s effort to undermine western democracy as empty. https://t.co/vWZYoNJC8u— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) November 9, 2017
Sciutto also called it a “remarkable concession” on freedom of the press:
That is a remarkable concession from the president of a country with a First Amendment. https://t.co/SycaE6sJwf— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) November 9, 2017
Again, touting false tweets from Obama’s former press secretary:
Chinese leaders are expertly attuned to victories - big and small - in their power struggle with their US. This is a clear win for China. An embarrassing loss for the US. The WH needs to explain. https://t.co/o0YVysHH4s— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) November 9, 2017
CNN’s Marshall Cohen also falsely claimed this would’ve never happened with previous presidents:
WH being totally honest here. But the past few presidents decided to take that "insistence," ignore it, and instead showcase the First Amendment on the world stage. https://t.co/0qAmHNk1m8— Marshall Cohen (@Marshall_Cohen) November 9, 2017
While NBC’s Chuck Todd also went about tweeting misinformation:
China isn’t supposed to have a say about press access. Previous press secs used to fight with Chinese counterparts for press access when in China. Witnessed personally. https://t.co/IWMgOoy7ZB— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) November 9, 2017
But other reporters, including the Washington Post’s David Nakamura, and CNN’s Jake Tapper, noted that actually, President Obama also conceded to the Chinese to not take press questions during his first trip to China in 2009.
On press access in China: today was not the first time that the Chinese did not allow questions in bilat with US president. In '09, Hu Jintao did not allow questions in a "joint press statement" with Obama. #thread— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) November 9, 2017