The transition team didn’t intend to mislead the press when President-elect Donald Trump went out for dinner and ditched the reporters who are supposed to be allowed to cover him, Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager said Wednesday.
Kellyanne Conway also said Mr. Trump will do a press conference “shortly,” but said the president-elect is busy calling foreign leaders and making decisions about staffing right now.
“It’s a lot to digest in putting together a federal government,” she said.
Mr. Trump has taken heat from reporters for breaking with tradition and denying coverage to events that previous transitions have allowed. On Tuesday, after his team told reporters that Mr. Trump would stay in for the night, they caught wind that he was actually going to have dinner with his family.
The White House Correspondents Associated registered its protest with the transition.
“He was just having dinner with his family,” Mrs. Conway said by way of explanation.
Reporters had thought they had an agreement to provide coverage of the transition, similar to the arrangement they’ve struck with past presidents-elect. That involves a rotating “pool” of reporters with responsibility for tracking things and sending out details for other reporters.
But transition spokesman Jason Miller said there’s no “formal pool structure” right now to abide by.
He admitted they failed in not informing the press of Mr. Trump’s dinner, but said reporters are never satisfied with their access anyway.
In the hours since the snafu, the transition has appeared to make officials more available to reporters waiting at the bottom of Trump Tower. Those officials have pushed back against reports of chaos in the transition team.
Mrs. Conway said the fact that there have been only two major personnel announcements — a White House chief of staff and a political strategist — is not a sign of problems. She said they have a number of good choices to fill posts.
“We have an embarrassment of riches,” she said.