The meeting was organized by Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who is now a senior adviser to Trump.
NBC’s Chuck Todd and Lester Holt; CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Erin Burnett; CBS’s Norah O’Donnell, Charlie Rose, John Dickerson, and Gayle King; and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos were some of the anchors who were seen entering Trump Tower shortly before 1 p.m.
Sources said the meeting would involve Trump, Conway and representatives from ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and Fox News. (NBC’s cable news channel MSNBC is included in the NBC invitation, Conway noted.)The substance of the meeting is intended to be off the record, meaning the participants will not divulge what is said.
President Obama and other government officials occasionally hold similar off the record sessions with reporters, anchors and other media bigwigs. (Obama talked off the record with the reporters traveling with him on the way home from Peru on Sunday night.)
Some top network anchors are traveling or on vacation this week, and thus unable to attend Monday’s meeting. But many others were present.
Several executives from the network news divisions were also spotted on the way into Trump Tower: CNN president Jeff Zucker, ABC News president James Goldston, Fox News co-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy, and NBC News president Deborah Turness.
There is much for the group to talk about. Trump has long-standing relationships with many in the TV news business — but he also waged an anti-media crusade during his campaign for president.
There are many looming questions about whether Trump will provide the same levels of press access that past presidents have permitted, like a traveling “press pool” and regular news conferences.
Most presidents-elect hold a news conference within days of being elected. Trump was elected almost two weeks ago and has not taken questions in that setting yet. However, he has been interviewed on the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes,” and he answered a few shouted questions from reporters over the weekend.