Donald Trump holds off-the-record Christmas party with reporters, but photos were okay

A reporter watches Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago from afar
(Image credit: Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

President-elect Donald Trump regularly vilifies the news media, has ditched his press pool on at least one occasion, and hasn't held a news conference since July, but on Sunday, he invited some reporters to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for a holiday party. According to the Trump press pool's report, Trump stopped by the party for about half an hour, along with wife Melania, Reince Priebus, Kellyanne Conway, spokesman Jason Miller, and Stephen Miller. The gathering was off the record, but according to media executive Mike Allen, the reporters were served Trump sparking wine and cold cuts — and photos were allowed:

See more

Since the content of Trump's conversations with reporters is verboten, journalists took to Twitter to discuss the ethics and wisdom of chatting and noshing with the president-elect at his Florida estate:

See more

Marc Caputo, currently with Politico, was a rare voice of conditional support for the reporters:

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
See more

But the photos-or-it-didn't-happen aspect kind of encapsulated Trump's relationship with the news media.

See more

Seriously, look at their eyes. Still, Trump appears to have had a fine time. According to the pool report, after chatting with reporters, Trump "apparently decided as he got in the car that instead of calling it a night he would go to dinner at his private club less than a mile away" with his entourage, "because everyone was dressed up."

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.