President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE on Wednesday departed the National Christmas Tree lighting event without White House staff notifying a pool of reporters assigned to monitor the president's movements of his whereabouts following a logistical mixup.
Members of the protective press pool — a group of reporters assigned to remain with the president and document his activities — indicated shortly after 6:30 p.m. that Trump had returned to the White House without any warning or comment from staffers.
Reporters were briefly held at the Ellipse outside the White House without any immediate indication of where the president had gone. They were later notified that Trump had returned to the White House via motorcade without the press pool in tow.
Members of the press pool protested the situation on Twitter.
The protective press pool exists to be in close proximity to the president in the event of an emergency and to document his movements for history. Can do neither at the moment. https://t.co/eXXKc8BQox— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) November 28, 2018
The entire point of the protective pool is to be with POTUS https://t.co/O9atxq7JdH— Anita Kumar (@anitakumar01) November 28, 2018
The @WhiteHouse staff works in concert with @SecretService to ensure the pool is always in the @POTUS motorcade. Poolers serve as the eyes and ears for the rest of the media. Usually it goes without a hitch, but something went amiss this evening and we've had no explanation.— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) November 29, 2018
Olivier Knox, the White House Correspondents' Association president, said he looked into the situation and concluded the incident was the result of a "logistical glitch."
The White House initially did not provide an explanation for leaving the media behind, despite several questions from the press pool.
The president and first lady attended the national Christmas tree lighting on Wednesday night. They sat in the front row for most of the festivities, and the two appeared on stage briefly to light the tree and wish the crowd a merry Christmas.
Trump, who has had a contentious relationship with the media, previously abandoned his protective press pool between his election and inauguration, though he has not done so since taking office.
The then-president-elect left behind the group of journalists tasked with covering his movements in November 2016 to go out to dinner and did so again in December 2016 in order to play golf.
Updated at 9:10 p.m.