Does President Trump see answering questions from reporters as a possible profit center?

At Friday’s Rose Garden news conference with the president of Romania, Trump noted a sea of hands from reporters seeking to ask a question.

Trump said: “If I could only sell that” — possibly referring to a microphone in the press area but also suggesting he’d like to somehow auction off rights to quiz him at media conferences.

This might have been a joke, of course. Or maybe not.

There’s been no response yet to a reporter’s request for reaction from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. But Garcetti has been especially vocal in his opposition to Trump’s decision to have the nation pull out of the Paris climate accords.

Left-leaning news website Shareblue was among the first to comment seriously:

“Of course, considering Trump’s dismal, multiple-bankruptcy track record in business, if he were able to turn the free press into a for-profit company, it likely wouldn’t be around for very long.

“But perhaps that is part of the charm of the notion for Trump. His well-known antipathy toward journalism and the First Amendment has shown no signs of letting up — unsurprising from a man with an obvious admiration for dictators.

“Trump can daydream all he likes about making profits off the free press, but he’ll still have quite a lot of questions to answer from them, and absurd deflections will only take him so far.”

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