After CBS News correspondent Sopan Deb quoted Hannity's remarks on Twitter, the New York Times's Maggie Haberman said they represent real possibilities, triggering an exchange with The Post's Karen Tumulty.
they are! It means assuming everything will be done as it used to is - at the moment- risky.— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 29, 2016
Not the first. As 1st lady, HRC urged moving the press to the OEOB, so they could have the swimming pool back. 1/2— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) November 29, 2016
Offline, Tumulty directed me to an anecdote in George Stephanopoulos's 1999 memoir, “All Too Human,” in which the Bill Clinton aide-turned-ABC News anchor recalled Hillary Clinton's plan to kick reporters out of the White House and move them into the Old Executive Office Building, now known as the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next door.
Stephanopoulos wrote that in 1993 he explained the following to longtime UPI White House reporter Helen Thomas, who was angry that the new Clinton administration had walled off a door connecting the media workroom to the rest of the West Wing:
I'm not your problem; Hillary is. She and Susan Thomas cooked up this plan to move you to the Old Executive Office Building so we could reopen the indoor pool that used to be right below your feet before Nixon made this the press room. Barbara Bush told her we should show you guys who's boss right from the start. Easy for her to say; she doesn't have to deal with you anymore. Closing the door was our fallback position.
It is unclear how close the Clinton administration came to actually removing journalists from the White House, but according to Stephanopoulos it was on the table. The idea is not unprecedented, in other words, and now Trump has Hannity telling him it is a good one.
As Haberman said, it seems risky to assume that the incoming president will keep the press in the White House, where journalists have been for decades.