In closing out his press conference Wednesday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called on Hillary Clinton to hold one of her own. “So ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. I think it’s time for Hillary Clinton to do a news conference because it’s been almost a year now. And it would be interesting to see how she does.”
That was by far the most reasonable point that Trump had made in a session made famous by his calling on Russia to find 30,000 “missing” Clinton emails. Two-hundred thirty-seven days have passed since Clinton’s last press conference, on Dec. 4, 2015, in Fort Dodge, Iowa. She answered seven questions.
All of this cued up a question for Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, who participated in a Washington Post Live interview Thursday with The Post’s Dan Balz. After the session, the Erik Wemple Blog asked Mook why there’s been such a long press conference outage. He responded: “We’re working on her schedule on a rolling basis, and we’ve been really proud that she’s done quite a number of interviews. Thanks so much.”
We tried to sneak in a question about the White House Correspondents’ Association drawing false equivalency between the threat to press freedoms from the Clinton and Trump campaigns. Mook had no time for that one, as he ducked into a waiting car and rode away.
Clinton has indeed done a fair number of television interviews in recent months, and she told CNN’s Jake Tapper in May that she’d done “nearly 300” interviews in 2016. A press conference, however, is a different beast altogether, a forum in which a gaggle of reporters can corner a presidential candidate on unanswered issues in ways that are more difficult for a single interviewer. “It’s not just time for a full-length, no-holds-barred news conference. It’s way past time,” The Post’s Margaret Sullivan wrote earlier this month.