The House

The Twitter President: How to cover Donald Trump?

We talk to the Washington Post's White House bureau chief, Juliet Eilperin, about the challenges of covering the 45th president of the United States.
President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrives for a church service at St. John's Episcopal Church across from the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, on Donald Trump's inauguration day. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

Whether it's his confrontational approach or his use of social media, there's no doubt Donald Trump and his presidency will provide a number of challenges for the White House press corps.

Challenges the Washington Post's White House bureau chief, Juliet Eilperin, is well aware of.​

"Because his press people have made it clear that they don't feel an obligation to engage with mainstream media outlets the way other politicians have in the past, they often don't respond to requests for comment when you're writing about what they're doing. So that's really a major challenge," she told The House.

Washington Post White House bureau chief Juliet Eilperin in conversation with Chris Hall. (CBC)

"There are other ones like the fact that he communicates via Twitter when he's making major policy pronouncements, so you're trying to write stories based on a 140 characters... without often the full context that you get when there's a formal statement or announcement at a press conference." 

Eilperin acknowledges that it's not unprecedented for an American president to have a tense relationship with the press, citing Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings as examples.

But Donald Trump is something entirely different.

"This idea of singling out outlets, banishing them from political rallies, that is certainly an extraordinary step."