Donald Trump instructed reporters in Hanoi, Vietnam, to keep their voices down when asking him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un questions, comments that come after the White House restricted access for print journalists on Thursday when the two leaders dined together.
“And don’t raise your voice, please,” Trump told reporters Thursday local time. “This isn’t like dealing with Trump.”
The White House allowed only one print journalist in the room as Trump and Kim dined earlier on Thursday. Wire services including the Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg were not allowed, although cameras were permitted.
“Due to the sensitive nature of the meetings we have limited the pool for the dinner to a smaller group, but ensured that representation of photographers, tv, radio and print Poolers are all in the room,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said ahead of the meal. “We are continuing to negotiate aspects of this historic summit and will always work to make sure the U.S. media has as much access as possible.”
According to CNN’s Jim Acosta, the White House reduced press access because Kim doesn’t like shouted questions from the press.
“A lot of catering to Kim Jong Un going on in Vietnam. First press is kicked out of hotel where Kim is staying. Now some reporters are blocked from pool spray because the dictator doesn’t like shouted questions,” Jim Acosta tweeted Wednesday.
A lot of catering to Kim Jong Un going on in Vietnam. First press is kicked out of hotel where Kim is staying. Now some reporters are blocked from pool spray because the dictator doesn’t like shouted questions. https://t.co/diJ8vVVO4M
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) February 27, 2019
Others including Los Angeles Times’ Washington bureau chief David Lauter suggested the decision was due to reporters asking Trump about his former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday.
President @realDonaldTrump and @StateDept @SecPompeo sits with Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for a second day of talks in Hanoi, Vietnam. #HanoiSummit pic.twitter.com/TJiNmdAHFm
— Department of State (@StateDept) February 28, 2019