President Donald Trump aired some of his grievances with reporters after what was arguably one of the most tumultuous weeks in Washington.
During an interview with Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro on Friday, Trump complained about the news media: “They get free ratings because of me, and yet they don’t treat us well,” said Trump.
He outlined what could become a new plan to communicate with reporters, citing his dissatisfaction with his own press department after a spate of conflicting reports in the immediate aftermath of FBI Director James Comey’s firing.
Trump asserted that his communications department couldn’t keep up with him because he was “moving so quickly.” Asked how he planned to rectify the issue, Trump gave an answer that elicited a shock.
“We don’t have press conferences,” Trump told Pirro. “Unless I have them every two weeks and I do them myself, we don’t have them. I think it’s a good idea.”
Pirro pressed him on the issue, saying at one point, “You can’t put an end to that.”
“No, we do it in a different way,” Trump said. “We do it through a piece of paper with a perfectly accurate, beautiful answer.”
Trump offered his view of the way his communications staff is received at the daily White House press briefings: “They’re asked 100 questions, or 50 questions, or 20 questions – if they get one out of 50, just a little bit off, 5 percent, 10 percent, 20 percent, it’s – the next day, it’s a front page story in every newspaper.”
The president said the change, if implemented, could happen “over the next couple of weeks.”
“I’ll tell you what, they’ll be very unhappy,” Trump said of news networks, “because the ratings are so high that I don’t know what these networks are going to do. They’re going to start to cry.”
Trump fumed about what he called “unfair” treatment toward his press staff over the last several weeks. “It’s impossible for a person, or two people, or three people, who are press people, to cover every aspect of what I’m thinking and what I’m doing,” said Trump.
“And in all fairness to Sean [Spicer], and in all fairness to Sarah Huckabee [Sanders], and in all fairness to anybody that stood up there, they don’t know me,” continued Trump. “I’m a very active president.”
“If they get it just a little wrong, they don’t mean to,” Trump continued. “They’re liars. They’re liars, they’re horrible people, they’re liars, the press goes … And it’s very, very unfair to a person in that job.”
The full interview is scheduled to air on Saturday at 9:00 p.m. ET on Fox News.