April 29, 2019

US – #WeeklyAddress: April 22 – 28: On weekend of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, President Trump continues to harangue press

Below are the most notable incidents regarding threats to press freedom in the US during the week of April 22 – April 28:

On weekend of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, President Trump continues to harangue press

President Trump continued his tirade against the media both on Twitter and at a campaign rally in the same week he told administration officials to boycott the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Before the president’s April 27 rally in Wisconsin, images of President Trump body-slamming a CNN logo flashed across the Jumbotron. During the event, President Trump gestured toward the media calling reporters, “sick people,” and “fakers,” prompting chants of “CNN sucks!” and “Fake News!” from the crowd. Throughout the past week, President Trump also tweeted his oft-repeated insults toward the press, referring to the New York Times as “truly the Enemy of the People” on April 23. This was the third year President Trump skipped the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, breaking a tradition started by President Calvin Coolidge in 1924.



White House goes nearly 50 days without formal press briefing

The Trump administration once again broke its own record for the longest span of time without a formal press briefing. Aside from an off-the-record briefing held for the children of the press pool on April 23, the White House has gone 49 days without an official briefing. This new stretch breaks the White House’s previous record of 42 days set back in March, which broke a 41-day record in January. The break from briefings comes at a turbulent time for the Trump administration, as the special counsel concluded and published its findings from the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. It is particularly tumultuous for Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as the recently-released special counsel report found that the press secretary had intentionally misled the press about the reason President Donald Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey in 2017.



The United States ranks 48th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2019 World Press Freedom Index.



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