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Three former White House press secretaries issue warnings for press relations under Trump

Former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart compared President-elect Donald Trump’s actions toward the press to that of former President Richard Nixon. | Getty

Three former White House press secretaries sounded various alarms about the president-elect and the possible pitfalls in his relationship with the media in a panel conversation with Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Joe Lockhart, White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton, said President-elect Donald Trump creates his own facts, something former President Richard Nixon would do.

“It’s somewhat Orwellian, which, you know, you redefine the past, which means you can define the present and the future,” Lockhart said. “And that’s going to be very difficult for both sides to come to grips with.”

Nicolle Wallace, communications director for former President George W. Bush, said Trump doesn’t need the press, but wants it “like an addict craves their drugs.”

“I think we’re staring at trees and missing the forest,” Wallace said. “We’ve just elected a man who bullies female reporters at his rally as an applause line. We have just elected a man who started a hot war with a female anchor instead of attending a debate she moderated. We are in a new place. And I don’t think it’s good. And I don’t think it has any parallels to the past.”

Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary for Bush, said the feeling is mutual between Trump and the press, calling it a “double-barreled hostility” where the media can’t stand Trump and Trump returns the favor.

“He can use it to his advantage, because as the Gallup poll recently indicated, confidence in the press to report the news accurately and fairly has never been lower,” Fleischer said. “And so the press has made itself vulnerable, because it lost the trust of their readers and their viewers — and Trump has widely taken advantage of it.”

Hadas Gold is a reporter at Politico.

Source: POLITICO – TOP Stories

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