President-elect of the United States of America Donald Trump met with his favorite rhetorical adversary Monday—the media. More specifically, Trump met with anchors and executives from the TV media, including the three major networks—ABC, CBS, and NBC—as well as cable’s Fox News and CNN. The off-the-record Trump Tower gathering of 30 or so was billed as generally “cordial,” according to Politico and its sources. The New York Post’s play-by-play of the meeting was far more hyperbolic and casts Trump in a suspiciously valiant light, such that it’s not totally clear the source wasn’t Donald Trump himself. Needless to say, until someone, anyone confirms the Post’s version of events we’re going to set it aside as a contrived outlier.
Unlike the Post’s account, Politico’s report included some instructive reporting, including that Trump mentioned the possibility of a “reset” with the media after a year-and-a-half of berating it generally and the people who practice journalism specifically. The discussion also reportedly touched on treatment of the press pool, the incoming administration’s plan for the first 100 days, his plans for secretary of defense, and how Mitt Romney “really wants” to be secretary of state. Which, LOL Mitt, this looks like a set up.
Along with the reset there was also this classic Trump moment (via Politico):
The source said the meeting started with a typical Trump complaint about the “dishonest media,” and that he specifically singled out CNN and NBC News for example as “the worst.” He also complained about photos of himself that NBC used that he found unflattering, the source said. Trump turned to NBC News President Deborah Turness at one point, the source said, and told her the network won’t run a nice picture of him, instead choosing “this picture of me,” as he made a face with a double chin. Turness replied that they had a “very nice” picture of him on their website at the moment.
The Trump team reportedly included chief of staff Reince Priebus, former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, chief strategist Stephen Bannon, son-in-law Jared Kushner, spokesman Jason Miller, and the RNC’s chief strategist Sean Spicer.