Donald Trump Will Finally Honor an Unwritten Presidential Rule

January 3rd 2017

Mike Rothschild

Donald Trump's advisor Kellyanne Conway announced Monday that he would finally hold a press conference on Jan. 11 to discuss his business conflicts and answer other questions.

The new date, just one day after President Barack Obama's farewell address in Chicago, marks the second time he's said he'd publicly address the fate of his business empire, and would be the first time he's faced the media since long before his election. It would also break a long-held pattern of Trump teasing a "major revelation" about a campaign issue, then cancelling it shortly before it was to take place.

The president-elect did take questions from the press at a New Year's Eve party at Mar-a-Lago, but it was characterized as brief, disorganized and unplanned, with Trump offering stream-of-consciousness rambles to the few reporters there, before going back inside the compound.

Trump's last press conference was July 27, where he urged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails, while also castigating her for not holding more press conferences.

His avoidance of the press continued after his election, where he broke precedent by not holding a press conference following his victory. It wasn't until Nov. 30 that Trump announced a press conference on Dec. 15 to reveal his plan for resolving the numerous conflicts of interest he'll be taking with him into the White House.

Days before Trump was due to speak to the media, the press conference was canceled, with Trump sources telling Bloomberg News that he wanted to focus on selecting cabinet members.

Trump also had a habit of cancelling speeches and press conferences while on the campaign trail.

In August, news reports began swirling that Trump's wife, Melania, may not have had a legal visa when she worked in the U.S. as a model before meeting Trump. He responded both in person and throughout his campaign that he and Melania would hold a news conference to address her immigration issues.

The press conference never took place, and Trump never spoke of it again.

That same month, Trump canceled a string of campaign appearances, including what he'd earlier claimed would be a "major speech" in Colorado on his immigration stance, which appeared to be pivoting away from his campaign planks of building a wall on the Mexican border and carrying out mass deportations.

In June, he canceled what was to have been a major address in New Hampshire on terrorism and national security, using the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando as the reason. It wouldn't be until August that Trump spoke at length on national security.

And, in March, Trump abruptly pulled out of what was to have been a major speech at the influential conservative conference CPAC, wanting to campaign in Kansas instead.

Whether Trump actually gives the speech on Jan. 11 remains to be seen. But even Conway seemed to be hedging her bets by telling Anderson Cooper the event would take place "if the lawyers and the compliance officers feel like we’re ready, then we’ll stick to that date. It’s really up to them."