Ted Mann in the House

Mann during an appearance on MSNBC.

Good to spot former Day of New London and Hearst Connecticut reporter Ted Mann in the White House briefing room over the last week or so.

Now writing for the Wall St. Journal, Mann’s been positioned right behind Fox News and CBS News during the daily briefing. He joins about a half dozen other journalists with Connecticut ties.

CT Skypes

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Vigdor questions Spicer.

One of the innovations the Trump communications team has brought to the White House is the use of Skype to allow reporters from around the country to take part in the daily press briefing.

Sean Spicer has described it as a way to open the White House up to more coverage. National reporters see it as a cynical way to avoid tough questions through high tech filibuster.

Regardless, Neil Vigdor of Hearst Connecticut Media took advantage of the opportunity this week to ask Spicer about Governor Malloy’s view on immigration enforcement.

A reporter from Montana asked Spicer whether the Trump administration planned to build a border wall with Canada and while Spicer seemed to chuckle it off, he did not rule it out.

Spotted!

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In the White House briefing room Monday for the first press briefing of the Trump administration we spotted some familiar faces with Connecticut connections:

Hallie Jackson. The newly named White House correspondent for NBC News was sitting in the front row and got what was supposed to be the last question. Jackson is a WFSB alum.

Margaret Brennan. The CBS News State Department correspondent has been doing double duty at the White House for several months now. She was born in Stamford.

George Colli. Crammed against the wall about midway through the small briefing room, the former NBC CT investigative reporter – now with Cox Media – was no doubt checking for cracks in the White House foundation.

Sean Spicer. The Trump press secretary and graduate of Connecticut College in New London, was of course conducting the briefing and attempting to make nice with the press corps he angered on Saturday with a bizarre rant about inaugural crowd size.

Hope Hicks. The Greenwich native, who has been with Trump since the start of his campaign, was near the front of the room to offer Spicer an assist if needed and provide a sartorial yin to the fashion yang of Kellyanne Conway seated next to her.

 

Always a CT Angle

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How did this one slip past our sonar nets?

Looking for another Connecticut angle to the incoming Trump administration?Dave Collins of the Day of New London reports Trump press secretary Sean Spicer went to Connecticut College. Spicer of course is joined on the Trump comms team by Hope Hicks of Greenwich.

Meanwhile, President Obama is set to make a public argument for transparency at the White House during his final meeting with the news media Wednesday afternoon.

Ron Allen

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Given everywhere he has been and everything he has done since, it’s possible even Ron Allen doesn’t remember his time as a reporter at WFSB in Hartford. But we do.

Allen has been a general assignment reporter for NBC News for almost 20 years now and over the past few weeks we’ve noticed him reporting more frequently from the White House. We’re not sure if this is a permanent assignment or a function of the fact that the network’s regular White House correspondents are being sent out on the campaign trail to cover the 2016 race. But it’s good to see someone from this market making it all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Hicks Help

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Hope Hicks leads Ramos back into Trump newser.

A few weeks ago we pointed out Neil Vigdor’s story on women from Greenwich who happen to occupy top communications roles in the White House or on the road to the White House.

This week we got a glimpse of one of those women in action in Iowa.

After Donald Trump had Univision anchor Jorge Ramos tossed from this news conference Tuesday it was up to Hope Hicks of Greenwich to track Ramos down outside and bring him back in with the promise he’d get to ask a question if he would wait his turn.

Hicks is Trump’s top communications aide.

Carlson vs. Scarborough

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Former White House press secretary Jay Carney once said reporting on politics is the candy store of journalism. That’s because speculation is allowed and encouraged.

Two recent Face the State(WFSB) appearances lead us to this piece of speculation: Could we be headed toward a Fox News vs. MSNBC Republican gubernatorial primary in Connecticut in 2018?

MSNBC morning host Joe Scarborough has been raising his profile in Connecticut and has hinted at an interest in running for office here someday. Former GOP chair Chris DePino pushed the rumor this past weekend:

“I’m very excited about Java Joe for governor of Connecticut,” DePino said.  “He has crossover appeal and would get women and urban voters.”  DePino called it “pretty close” to an endorsement.  ~ Source: The Hartfordite

Meanwhile, in a Face appearance that slipped by me when it happened, Fox News host Gretchen Carlson (a Connecticut resident) also talked about a passing interest in running for public office someday and said the job of governor is the one she finds most appealing.

These two weak expressions of interest are all that is needed to get on the list of possible future candidates.

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