The photojournalists traveling in the White House Travel Pool aren’t happy with how much access (or lack thereof) they’re being given at an economic conference being attended by President Trump in Vietnam, and one photographer has taken to Twitter to protest… by publishing a black box as a “photo.”
“This what our APEC Summit photo coverage looks today in Da Nang Vietnam,” writes New York Times photojournalist Doug Mills in the Tweet. “Blank. No coverage by the White House Travel Pool photographers traveling with [Trump].”
This what our APEC Summit photo coverage looks today in Da Nang Vietnam. Blank. No coverage by the White House Travel Pool photographers traveling with @realDonaldTrump #APEC2017 #apec pic.twitter.com/jFgsJW5OcO
— Doug Mills (@dougmillsnyt) November 11, 2017
The Washington Post reports that the pool has been traveling with Trump in his motorcade but has largely been kept waiting around away from events attended by Trump.
Your traveling White House press corps has been kept out of the APEC summit. We await word on Trump-Putin stmnt from US side. Russians have spoken to their press. We Americans are still waiting.
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) November 11, 2017
Pool photographers and reporters are Tweeting photos of the group waiting around idly outdoors.
—Danang, Vietnam pic.twitter.com/w32r64bPRc
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) November 11, 2017
The White House Press Corps stands on the side of the road outside the Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort after being denied access to cover President Trump’s APEC regional economic conference events. pic.twitter.com/AYQs8ojr5O
— Jim Watson (@JimWatson_AFP) November 11, 2017
The White House says it’s not responsible for this particular blackout, though: White House official Michelle Meadows stated on Friday that the organizers of the summit had only provided the U.S. with two press passes for an official photographer and videographer while issuing zero passes for the news media.
“We have been negotiating since the pre-advance and have made progress on almost every event for this swing,” Meadows told the pool on Friday. “We ALWAYS ask for the full Pool to have access but we do not always get what we want.”
The pool has received access to cover other events on Trump’s trip, but the latest blackout in Vietnam is still rubbing some the wrong way, the Washington Post reports. Pool photographers have decided as a group not to use handout photos from the White House captured by Trump’s official photographer.