President Trump avoided facing questions from the media by claiming he could not walk across the South Lawn of the White House due to “bad weather,” despite sunny and clear skies in the nation’s capital.
The president, who departed the White House on Thursday for a trip to Iowa and Illinois, typically reaches Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews by taking a helicopter from the White House. This allows the media to shout questions while he walks across the South Lawn. Trump often stops to take questions.
But White House aides informed the White House press corps that Trump would take a motorcade to Joint Base Andrews due to “bad weather,” a setting that allows the president to avoid taking questions.
The Hill reports:
The motorcade is used when weather conditions make it unsafe for the president to fly on the Marine One helicopter. But it was 77 degrees and partly cloudy at the time of Trump’s departure at 9:21 a.m., according to AccuWeather.
When pressed by reporters, the White House cited “fog” as the reason for the bad-weather call. A “weather watch” advisory on Joint Base Andrews’s website said the base is “open for normal operations.”
Several White House reporters tweeted out photos of clear skies minutes after the White House’s announcement.
View from my office window as the White House makes a bad weather call – meaning the president will take a car to Andrews, rather than depart via his helicopter from the South Lawn where reporters can gather to shout questions at him. pic.twitter.com/csRYnCmbGI
— Hallie Jackson (@HallieJackson) July 26, 2018
There is a bad weather call on Trump’s departure – so no questions today. pic.twitter.com/hEraTo4jbK
— Geoff Earle (@GeoffEarle) July 26, 2018
The White House on Wednesday barred CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from a press event for asking President Trump questions it didn’t like, a decision the White House Correspondents’ Association called “wholly inappropriate, wrong-headed, and weak,” and declaring that “it cannot stand.”
Collins, who was acting as the “pool reporter” for all networks during Trump’s meeting with European Union (EU) commissioner Jean-Claude Junker on Wednesday afternoon, asked the president questions about Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as the president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, according to CNN.