Never before have we had a President that spoke his mind almost daily to the American people. Like it or hate it, President Trump, through his use of social media, broadcasts across the globe his likes, dislikes, and policy thoughts. He is unedited.
While President Obama was closed, guarded and cautious, Pres. Trump says what he thinks or feels regardless of the consequences. Some argue, this makes him the most accessible and transparent President ever, while others claim his behavior reflects a dangerous, almost-cavalier approach to Presidential communications.
The contrast between Trump and Obama is significant for those assigned to cover the White House like Gregory Korte of USA Today. This veteran, award-winning journalist covered both administrations and he tells Spectrum of the differences between the two approaches.
Korte not only covers the White House but he accompanied President Trump on his nine-day trip through the Middle-East and parts of Europe and his most recent trip to the G-20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany.
When on foreign trips, Obama attempted to connect with the people and speak about ideals of democracy, Korte says. Trump, however, prefers bilateral meetings with foreign leaders, in secret and on the fringes of the regular meetings. He likes to meet one-on-one with foreign leaders and exercise the “Art of the Deal,” according to Korte.
It is too early to determine what the nature of Trump’s foreign policy exactly is but Korte says the primary objective is to defeat ISIS and to exercise military strength around the globe.
Korte also notes major differences in the way Trump treats cabinet members such as Rex Tillerson compared to the way Obama would work with cabinet members. Many believe Tillerson is about to resign this early in the President’s term because he is being undermined by the President and his public disclosures.
Korte says, in covering the White House, he tries to stay away from the “palace intrigue” of who has power and who is about to be fired. Instead, he tries to dig out the daily news nuggets from the chaff of distractions. He admits that some days that job is particularly difficult.
Besides covering the White House, Korte has acted as a visiting professional -- teaching at the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University—his alma mater.