Trump is only G7 leader not to hold press conference after summit
President Trump was the only world leader not to give a press conference following the G7 summit Saturday, adding to already existing tension between the president and the press.
Trump instead give a speech at the Sigonella Naval Air Station in Sigonella, Italy following the G7 summit. The speech reaffirmed the president’s support of the military, and thanked them for their service ahead of Memorial Day.
The Trump administration did offer a press briefing after the summit by the president’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn. The briefing, which was given off-camera but on-the-record, took place around the same time other world leaders offered their post-summit press conferences.
According to a report by The Washington Post, journalists at the briefing by Cohn and McMaster were frustrated as the two officials refused to comment on reports that Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner discussed setting up a secret communications channel between the Trump transition team and Moscow.
“We’re not going to comment on Jared,” Cohn said. “We’re just not going to comment.”
Cohn also defended Trump’s decision not to give a press briefing or offer lengthy interviews with journalists during his foreign trip, saying that Trump’s busy schedule wouldn’t allow for it.
“The president… has been dealing with foreign leaders, he’s been dealing with jobs, he’s been dealing with economic growth, he’s been dealing with diplomacy, he’s been dealing with unfair trade, he’s been dealing with Paris [climate agreement], he’s been dealing with China,” Cohn told reporters according to The Post. “His agenda has been overflowing. He’s been fully consumed with what’s going on here.”
The other G7 leaders from France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom all held press briefings following the summit.
Many reporters expressed their frustration over the lack of a press conference on Twitter Saturday:
Every world leader at the G7 gave a post summit press conference… except @realDonaldTrump
— Cecilia Vega (@CeciliaVega) May 27, 2017
Not a news conference !! No cameras and 1st POTUS to avoid reporters since these summits started decades ago https://t.co/aJf7gQNPgj
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) May 27, 2017
On the schedule for today at the close of the G7. Instead of a press conference President Trump will deliver a speech to US troops. pic.twitter.com/8IRUpYTH8n
— Tamara Keith (@tamarakeithNPR) May 27, 2017
Press conferences aren’t off camera &Trump hasn’t had a single one on nine-day foreign trip, only G7 leader not to pic.twitter.com/e5orgBjObV
— Carol Lee (@carolelee) May 27, 2017
As Trump takes off from Sicily without answering questions, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is holding a news conference.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) May 27, 2017