Recently, Donald Trump lashed out at some media big shots during an off the record sit down session at the Trump Tower on Monday. One source described the encounter saying “It was like a (expletive) firing squad.” Trump started by telling CNN chief Jeff Zucker, “I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed.” TV executives and anchors say that the meeting was a total disaster. They thought they were arriving at the Trump Tower to discuss the access they would be granted to the Trump administration, rather they were subject to a verbal beat down by the President-elect.
Another source went on to confirm what took place inside the tower. The meeting occurred in a big boardroom with about 30 to 40 people present, including all the big news anchors from the networks. Trump addressed everyone in the room, calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. “Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful, dishonest media who got it all wrong.”
Trump spoke about an NBC female correspondent who got it all wrong. He then referred to a horrible news correspondent who hosted a debate and later cried when Hillary Clinton lost the election. Trump didn’t call out the correspondents by name, however Katy Tur and Martha Raddatz were both implied by the remarks. The stunned reporters tried to change the subject to discuss access to the Trump administration.
Gayle King, a CBS Good Morning co-host, asked “How do you propose we the media work with you?” David Muir inquired “How are you going to cope wth living in DC while your family is in NYC?” Needless to say, it was a horrible meeting for the media.
Kellyanne Conway, a Trump spokeswoman, told reporters that the gathering went well. In the lobby of the Trump Tower she said “Excellent meetings with the top executives of the major networks. Unprecedented meeting we put together in two days.” She also described the meetings as “very cordial, candid, and honest.” Participants of the off the record meeting agreed not to talk about the substance of the conversations.
The session lasted one hour and included the likes of Deborah Turness, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, James Goldston, George Stephanopoulos, David Muir, Martha Raddatz, Norah O’Donnell, John Dickerson, Charlie Rose, Christopher Isham, Bill Shine, Jack Abernethy, Jay Wallace, Suzanne Scott, Phil Griffin, Jeff Zucker and Erin Burnett. The networks represented by those in attendance include NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, and MSNBC. The publisher of the New York Times, Arthur Sulzberger, was scheduled to meet with Trump on Tuesday, however that meeting has since been canceled.
Donald Trump has been very critical of television and media coverage throughout the duration of his campaign. The criticism continues into his President-elect status. On the twenty-fifth floor of the Trump Tower, he ranted about the coverage that he has been receiving, he even criticized the use of a picture that showed him with a double chin. “Why didn’t they use nicer pictures?”
When Trump was asked about the sort of fake news that clogs social media, he replied that it is the networks that are guilty of spreading fake news, citing CNN and NBC as the worst liars of the group. Trump did not show any signs of being humbled by the elevation to the country’s highest office.
When one participant pointed out that all Presidential candidates believe they get bad press, Trump said “Not Obama.” Trump did go on to state how much he has come to like the current president through their talks. Trump went on at length saying that he loves Obama and that they are getting along great. Although many media members claim that the meeting was a one hour display of fireworks, Trump reportedly did not raise his voice.