President-elect Donald Trump and the news media are settling into an uneasy relationship.
Distrust and ill feelings are held on both sides, and no one is predicting the acrimony that characterized the final months of the presidential campaign will disappear.
At the same time, Trump in his Tuesday meeting with reporters and editors at The New York Times offered an olive branch, acknowledging that he’s a longtime reader and pledging a willingness to develop a professional working relationship.
“I would like to turn it around,” Trump said. “I think it would make the job I am doing much easier.”
Trump’s words may do little to assuage the press’s fears.
White House reporters are worried about access to Trump, who didn’t allow reporters on his campaign plane and ditched media staking out Trump Tower last week to have dinner with family at New York’s 21 Club.
The president-elect’s frequent threats to the press have added to a sense that the rules for covering this White House might be different.
“Every incoming president has basic, generally agreed upon rules of the road,” said Joe Lockhart, who served as White House press secretary for President Bill Clinton.
“The Trump team has decided they’ll blow up and the road and build a new one. Where it goes from here will be a test of how far the new president and his team want to push things, and the strength and will of the press to push back.”
Trump’s transition team says it is committed to having a press pool, which allows for a small group of reporters to remain stationed near the president to document his movements. The pool was on hand for the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, and when George W. Bush was on the move on 9/11.