Reporters outraged over lack of Flynn questions at Trump news conference

trump trudeau conference

Somehow, President Donald Trump made it through yet another press conference with a visiting foreign leader without having to field any questions about the controversy surrounding National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

In a joint appearance with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday, Trump took just two questions from U.S. reporters -- one from the conservative Daily Caller and the other from a D.C. television station owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, both of which are widely viewed as favorable to Trump. None of the questions pertained to Flynn, whose job security is a matter of much public speculation.

Reporters and media personalities expressed outrage on Twitter, and accused the White House of foul play: "No questions about Flynn's status even though it is leading every newscast?? Are these planted questions on the Washington side?" Fox News National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin asked on Twitter.

"By handpicking reporters, Trump manages to get through news conference without being asked about Flynn," New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker wrote.

This marks the second bilateral appearance in which Trump appeared to skirt questions about controversial issues by taking questions from favorable outlets, a move that is likely to increase the already palpable sense of hostility that exists between the White House and the media.

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the complaints from the White House press corps.

Scott Thuman, one of those who asked a question at the briefing, told other reporters that he wasn't told in advance he would get a question but was advised to attend, according to tweets from a reporter in the briefing room.

"Scott Thuman attended today's press briefing, as he regularly does as our Chief Political Correspondent... The question Scott asked related to Prime Minister Trudeau's visit and focused on two issues that matter deeply to the local communities we serve: terrorism and international trade," Scott Livingston, the vice president of news at Sinclair Broadcast Group, said in a statement. "The question wasn't pre-set, screened nor suggested by the White House. We stand by Scott's judgement and reporting."

At least one reporter tried to ask the president about Flynn but was ignored, according to his own account: "For the record - I asked the President if he still has confidence in General Flynn," ABC's Jonathan Karl tweeted. "He sure seemed to hear the question but did not answer."

Other journalists turned their criticism on the reporters who were invited to ask questions and ignored the controversy surrounding Flynn.

"Reporters covering the White House who fail to ask the president about the most pressing news of the day should be ashamed of themselves," The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler tweeted.


CNNMoney Sponsors