Trump Breaks Shocking Decades-Old Record

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President Donald Trump reportedly set a new record for the longest span of time a president has gone without conducting a formal press conference in 50 years.

Trump's first press conference as president came three weeks after he was inaugurated -- during which he criticized the media as "fake news" and asked an African-American reporter whether she was friends with the Congressional Black Caucus, the Daily Beast reported.

A year later, that press conference remains the only one that Trump has held since taking office.

"The president and his administration have been one of the accessible administrations," Lindsay Walters, White House deputy press secretary, told the Daily Beast. "The president frequently holds impromptu gaggles, takes questions from the pool and engages daily with the American people."

Trump, the Daily Beast reported, has engaged in short, sometimes random conversations with the press over the past year, but has not held a formal press conference since his first one after taking office.

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"There’s value in those nontraditional exchanges," Bloomberg correspondent and White House Correspondents' Association President Margaret Talev said. "But we also really encourage this president, and any American president, to hold open, normal news conferences, because they are of real value to the American public."

Meanwhile, Trump has garnered continued criticism for his inaction following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, as well as his decision to seemingly blame the students and faculty at the school for the shooting.

"So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again," Trump tweeted following the attack, Fortune reported.

Reports had been filed against alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz by at least one person who contacted the FBI about his behavior before the shooting.

Trump's criticism sparked backlash from people who felt he was being hypocritical considering his rollback of Obama-era regulations that had made it harder for mentally ill people to purchase firearms.

"We really need to look at the big picture," National Alliance on Mental Illness Senior Policy Advisor Ron Honberg told Time about support from Washington for mental health problems in the country. "When you start peeling back the component parts, I can’t say that there’s been wholesale support."

Honberg added that Trump and other politicians' habit of "using mental illness as a political football in the aftermath of tragedies" often "hurts" the conversation.

Sources: Daily Beast, Fortune, Time / Featured Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr / Embedded Images: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr, Michael Vadon/Wikipedia

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