President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump official and TV surrogate leaving White House: reports Biden: I regret not being president De Blasio blames Trump for 'dynamic of hatred' in US MORE's decision to ditch his press pool to go to dinner at a New York City restaurant is sparking a wave of protests from many in the press.
The criticism comes after Trump traveled a few blocks from Trump Tower late Tuesday to dine at the 21 Club with his family. Pool reporters who are responsible for covering the president-elect at all times were not informed.
"Pool reporters are in place in New York to cover the president-elect as he assembles his new administration. It is critical that they be allowed to do their jobs," White House Correspondents' Association President Jeff Mason said in a statement.
On cable news, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow broke into her 9 p.m. show with the news of Trump's dinner and the press being left behind.
"It is a matter of tradition, a matter of security, a matter of national interest that you don’t go dark. … You don’t get to be a private person anymore," MSNBC's highest-rated host explained. "People get to know where you are at all times…
"You may resent that you’re not allowed to have a private life anymore, but it’s a matter of national security and national interest," Maddow continued.
"You really don’t get to just go anywhere you want. It’s too important to the country."
Journalists also slammed Trump on social media.
@jonfavs many of them don't think "journalists" even exist. just "democratic operatives."— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 16, 2016
So Trump ditched his press pool tonight to grab a steak dinner-- a terrible violation of protocol that his defenders will probably cheer— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) November 16, 2016
The American people *depend* on accurate info re potus whereabouts. Hoping for an appreciation of this, to uphold solemn WH/press tradition.— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) November 16, 2016
The president-elect's decision to leave his press pool behind is not unprecedented. In December 2008, then-President-elect Obama did the same while vacationing in Hawaii.
"In the news-free zone that is Barack ObamaBarack ObamaFox News host promoted by Trump calls on Paul Ryan to step down Dan Rather: Failure to repeal ObamaCare most 'staggering loss' so early in a term Pence: Trump 'won't rest' until ObamaCare repealed MORE’s preinauguration Hawaiian vacation, this passes for a bulletin: The president-elect ditched his 'press pool' of media minders to take his daughters to a water park on Friday morning," The New York Times reported.
"In making his dash — with his Secret Service security detail, to be sure — Mr. Obama drew attention both to the seemingly odd but important rituals of the presidential (and prepresidential) bubble and to just how much this very private public man chafes under its constraints."
Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonComet Ping Pong shooter pleads guilty Time for 'J. Edgar' Comey to take his leave Corruption trial could roil NJ Senate race MORE also ditched her press pool after becoming overheated and leaving a 9/11 memorial service, although amateur video showed her stumbling into a van. Clinton's press pool was not aware of her whereabouts for 90 minutes. Her doctor later announced she had been diagnosed with pneumonia.
Trump also left journalists behind last week when he flew to Washington to meet with President Obama.