Press Briefing Room Remodel / Prediction #1 2017-2020:

Despite only 10 years passing since the last remodel, the White House will suddenly close the press briefing room for a “much needed,” remodel, the planning for which, they will say, actually began during the Obama administration. Former White House staff will deny this. Nevertheless, it will be repeated by administration spokespersons often and some conservative media will regularly report it as a fact. A temporary briefing room will be opened outside the White House grounds. The White House will note that Trump draws more press coverage than anyone in history and the briefing room, which was already too small, had become totally inadequate. They will point to press quotes that say the briefing room is technically a fire hazard. Despite this, the temporary off-site press room will also be too small and unwelcoming. At the same time, the White House will build a state-of-the-art television studio within the White House complex from which they will release video statements and press releases with the look and feel of a television news program, without any indication that the presentation is produced and distributed by the White House. As press access is steadily decreased, online and broadcast news will be forced to use these “releases.” Most media outlets will indicate the video was produced by the administration, but some will not.

The White House briefing room will go through demo but then progress on building out a new press room will stall. The White House will have a long list of excuses but eventually they will claim that congress cut off the funding to finish the project. In the meantime, the White House Press Secretary will make fewer and fewer appearances at the temporary off site press briefing room, sending members of his staff and other low level administration officials. These White House staffers will often answer questions by simply saying they do not have that information and refer the press to video releases from the White House. The Press Secretary will increasingly make recorded statements from the White House television studio. Occasionally, a briefing will be staged in the studio with reporters hand-picked  by the White House, a group the White House will misleadingly refer to as the “press pool,” noting that using a press pool is common practice. Despite protests from journalists everywhere, the White House will doggedly refer to this small group of reporters as the “White House Press Pool.”

The White House television studio will also produce a steady stream of “interviews” with Trump modelled after Charlie Rose in style and setting. Trump will be quiet and thoughtful, charming and compassionate in these fake interviews with an intellectual sounding b-list journalist. Sometimes this sellout journalist will even appear to press Trump on something and Trump will, once every interview, make a small and meaningless concession about something irrelevant (yes, he admits with a somewhat sheepish smile, he sometimes does not notice when Melania changes her hair). While many of his public speeches will continue to be vitriolic diatribes with a staccato delivery, his supporters will point to these fake interviews as revealing “the real” man.