Donald Trump says he doesn’t like filters. Likes talking directly to the people. That’s supposedly one of the reasons the White House has offered so few press briefings—to let the man speak for himself, to the people. But as it turns out, he prefers to have the roar of a helicopter drowning out what he’s being asked and how he’s answering.
The Washington Post counts “more than a dozen South Lawn exchanges over the past two years in which Trump has cited the noise of a nearby helicopter as a reason to evade or limit reporter questions.” Most recently, on Friday, Trump told a reporter to “talk up” because “you’re competing with a helicopter.”
That’s when and where Trump is comfortable talking to reporters—with the helicopter as an excuse and an opportunity to pick and choose his questions as they’re shouted out. Certainly not in a venue that allows for follow-ups, and not through a press secretary who might be expected to arrive prepared and have reliable answers to predictable questions.