On Wednesday, the network morning shows were in full panic mode as anchors and correspondents breathlessly reported that Donald Trump went to dinner with his family Tuesday night without alerting the traveling press pool. The President-Elect’s excursion to a Manhattan steakhouse was labeled “chaos” and an affront to the principle of “transparency.”
At the top of ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos announced: “Breaking overnight, Donald Trump leaves the press behind for a private dinner with his family amid new reports of a transition team in turmoil.” Moments later, fellow co-host Robin Roberts fretted: “This is a moment that created a bit of chaos last night. President-Elect Trump evading the press for a surprise dinner.”
In the report that followed, correspondent Tom Llamas noted Trump “escaping from his skyscraper-turned-fortress for dinner down the street at Manhattan's 21 Club” and criticized the move for “bucking the tradition of transparency for a president or president-elect and leaving his home without the pool of journalists there to cover his every move.” In another report at the top of the 8 a.m. ET hour, Llamas added: “It's a tradition of transparency that President-Elect Trump obviously didn't care about last night.”
Leading off NBC’s Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: “Despite firings and reports of disarray, Donald Trump tweets that his transition is, quote, ‘very organized.’ As the President-Elect ditches long-standing protocol and the press and takes his family out to dinner in Manhattan.”
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Correspondent Hallie Jackson at least had the self-awareness to acknowledge the divide between the press and the public on the issue: “...the President-Elect grabbed a meal with his family late last night without the pool of journalists who normally follow his movements. A lot of folks will be saying, ‘So what?’ or even, ‘Good for him for enjoying a private meal with his family.’” However, she still lectured: “Doing so solo breaks protocol for presidents and president-elects and underscores just how much we can expect the unexpected from President-Elect Trump.”
Co-host Charlie Rose began CBS This Morning: “President-Elect Trump's transition is described as ‘stalled’ and ‘scrambling’ after more top officials leave. But Mr. Trump calls the process ‘very organized’ after dodging reporters to go out to dinner.” In a report minutes later, correspondent Major Garrett declared that Trump “tried to sneak out of Trump Tower for dinner Tuesday after staff told reporters he was in for the night. His meal captured by fellow diners instead of the traveling press.”
In sharp contrast to the hyperventilating over Trump running out for a single meal, during the campaign, it took over 250 days for the liberal media to notice that Hillary Clinton hadn’t held a press conference in all that time.