The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

It looks like Trump’s midsummer press conference may have been his last one this year

President-Elect Donald Trump speaks at a "USA Thank You Tour 2016" event at the DeltaPlex in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
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Last month, Donald Trump said he'd be ending his months-long press conference drought on Dec. 15, when he would lay out how he planned to handle his business empire as president. Instead, his team announced Monday that he would be postponing the event until January, citing his need to focus on Cabinet selection. 

Since the president-elect currently has no public plans to hold a news conference between now and 2017, we're reposting this timer looking at how long it's been since his last one.

The last time Donald Trump held a news conference was on the third day of the Democratic convention, July 27, wrapping up at about 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. Since then, the following things have happened without Trump making himself available to free-ranging questions from an array of news outlets:

  • Trump got in a fight with the Khan family.
  • Trump's campaign manager was revealed to have ties to Ukraine.
  • Trump fired his campaign manager after hiring Kellyanne Conway and Stephen K. Bannon.
  • Trump went to Mexico.
  • Trump copped to being rude sometimes.
  • Trump told black Americans that they had “nothing to lose” by voting for him.
  • The first debate.
  • The second debate.
  • The third debate.
  • The hot-mic tape.
  • The allegations of sexual abuse.

Oh, also he won the presidency.

At the time he last held a news conference, Trump had been excoriating Hillary Clinton for some time about her failure to hold a news conference. In fact, that's how Trump started his comments that morning.

“So, it's been 235 days since crooked Hillary Clinton has had a press conference,” Trump said. “And you, as reporters who give her all of these glowing reports, should ask yourselves why. And I'll tell you why. Because despite the nice platitudes, she's been a mess.”

Guess that's the only reason not to hold a news conference: because you are a mess.

Trump's math was right, though, which I know because The Washington Post had created a timer to show precisely how long it had been since Clinton had held a news conference. (You can see it here.) Trump and his team kept at it, day after day, bashing Clinton for not holding a presser, and our timer kept ticking upward.

As my mother always used to say, turnabout is fair play. So:

As of this writing, it's been 118 days since Trump held a presser. Most presidents-elect hold one within a few days of winning the election; Trump has gone two weeks, and nothing. Perhaps this timer will help jog him into action.

We hasten to note that the news conference itself was a wide-ranging affair, in the classic pre-teleprompter-Trump manner. Among the subjects included was Trump's now-famous call for the Russian government to uncover and release emails hacked from Hillary Clinton's private server.

"Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," he said. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

The press conference ended as it began, with a dis on his opponent for failing to talk to reporters.

“So, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much,” Trump said. “I think it's time for Hillary Clinton to do a news conference, because it's almost a year now, and it would be interesting to see how she does.”

It would indeed.

Here’s a look at Trump’s administration so far

Dr. Scott Gottlieb is seen in this American Enterprise Institute photo released in Washington, DC, U.S., March 10, 2017. Courtesy The American Enterprise Institute/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. (Handout/Reuters)