In his first year in office, according to data from the American Presidency Project, President Barack Obama held 11 solo news conferences and 16 jointly, for a total of 27. President George W. Bush held five solo and 14 jointly in his first year. President Bill Clinton held 12 solo and 26 jointly.In his first year, Trump has held only one solo news conference, last February at the outset of his term, and 20 jointly. These joint news conferences are usually with foreign visitors with four questions, two each, hardly a venue for serious give-and-take. Trump also held a mini press conference Saturday at Camp David on the sidelines of a meeting with Republican congressional leaders. He took questions for about 11 minutes.
Recent presidents often held an end-of-year solo news conference. According to a compilation by Martha Joynt Kumar, who is aretired political science professor at Towson University and director of the nonpartisan White House Transition Project, Obama held one in December at the White House for six of his eight years; Bush for five of eight years; and Clinton for five of eight years. Trump held no formal year-end solo news conference. Last Thursday, reporters at the daily White House briefing were shown a video of the president on screens at the front of the room. Trump talked about tax cuts and economic growth in a format that offered no opportunity for questions. Although Trump was in the building and could easily have walked down to the briefing room, the White House offered only pixels of a canned pitch.