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President Trump Meets With Black College Presidents, Media Focuses on Kellyanne Conway Taking Pictures

Posted on 27 February 2017

In yet another example of why the Trump administration has such heartburn in dealing with the media, President Donald Trump met with a about sixty presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Oval Office on Monday, yet the media focused on Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway taking pictures of the meeting while positioned on an Oval Office couch.

AFP posted only one photo from the meeting, focused on Conway, with the caption, “Kellyanne Conway checks her phone after taking a photo of President Donald Trump and leaders of black universities, colleges in Oval Office”

The AFP photo was retweeted by CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Jon Passantino, Deputy News Director for Buzzfeed, posted another photo of Conway with the caption, “Shoes on the couch in the Oval Office”

MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin, “Trying to imagine the reaction if any Obama admin. official sat on a couch in the Oval like that.”

GQ’s Keith Olbermann, “Get your fucking feet off the furniture, @KellyannePolls. This isn’t your home.”

The Australian chimed in from the other side of the globe, “What’s Kellyanne Conway doing on the couch?”

The New York Daily News, “Kellyanne Conway photographed kneeling on White House couch”.

The Telegraph, “UK Telegraph: ‘Show some class’: Kellyanne Conway accused of lacking respect after putting feet up on Oval Office couch”

Yashar, New York Magazine and Daily Beast Contributing Writer, had a Twitter meltdown. A sample:

An uncredited pool photo of Conway on the couch was also making the Twitter rounds.

Conway appears to have positioned herself on the couch to take photos without interfering with the pool cameras. Instead the pool cameras chose to focus on Conway.

For a proper photo of President Trump’s meeting with HBCU presidents, one had to turn to senior Trump advisor Dan Scavino, Jr.

CBS News’ Mark Knoller posted a listed of HBCUs represented at the meetings Monday with Trump and Vice President Pence.

Photo Pence meeting with HBCU presidents.

The White House press office promoted a McClatchy article on Trump’s plans for HBCUs in advance of the meeting.

President Donald Trump is expected to provide historically black colleges and universities a long-awaited boost as he looks to outdo his predecessors — including the nation’s first African-American president — on a surprising issue.

Trump will sign an executive order as early as Monday, when the schools’ presidents arrive in Washington for a visit. It’s expected to significantly strengthen the office that pushes the federal government to do business with the colleges by moving it to the White House…

“It would be truly, truly historic,” said Leonard Haynes, a longtime educator who ran the office and is helping to write the executive order. “It’s part of a long time dream…none of (the other presidents) had the courage to do it.”

Though African-Americans overwhelmingly support Democrats at the polls, many education experts credit Republican leaders for helping to improve HBCUs, the common shorthand for historically black schools.

Some black college administrators say they were disappointed in President Barack Obama for not making the schools a priority and, in some cases, harming their financial health and contributing to declining enrollment with the changes he made to loan programs.

“The president has a strong commitment to them and understands over the last eight years they’ve been woefully neglected,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said. “And I think he wants to really show a commitment. … And so you’ll see, I think, not just a push this month, but in his budget and going forward.”

During the transition and into the start of his presidency, Trump’s advisers met with HBCU officials as they considered how to make good on Trump’s “New Deal For Black America,” which he unveiled at a speech in Charlotte, N.C. that alluded to black colleges….

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