- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 31, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump went to play golf Saturday without taking the designated press “pool” of reporters assigned to follow him, sparking renewed fears over how he will treat the media once he’s in the White House.

Trump spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, in a statement, said the president-elect didn’t make his press team “aware” of his decision, which meant they were unable to wrangle the pool of reporters that is waiting just off the premises of his Mar-a-Lago club to follow him whenever he goes anywhere.

The move recalled the early days of the transition, when the press pool was given little access to Mr. Trump — though things have improved in recent weeks.

Ms. Grisham insisted the team has done well, despite Saturday’s bungle.

“We are in the home stretch of this transition period and don’t anticipate any additional situations like this between now and inauguration,” she said. “We’ve really made an effort to provide as much access and comfort as possible over the past two weeks and are proud of the way we have all worked together. We hope this one incident doesn’t negate all the progress we have made and look forward to continuing the great relationships we have built.”

Mr. Trump has repeatedly blasted the press, including singling some out by name, both during and after the presidential campaign, sparking fears that he would curtail access to his White House.

President Obama ditched the press pool in 2010, leaving the White House to watch one of his daughter play in a soccer game. Just as in the case of Mr. Trump, Mr. Obama’s press team said at the time it was informed too late to wrangle reporters.

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