Clinton Adviser Shoots Down Press Conference Criticism

The Democratic nominee hasn't held a press conference since December.

ByABC News
July 28, 2016, 7:56 PM

— -- In an interview with ABC News on day four of the Democratic National Convention, Joel Benenson, a chief strategist and pollster with Hillary Clinton's campaign, addressed the growing public scrutiny over the Democratic presidential nominee's lack of press conferences.

"We'll have a press conference when we want to have a press conference," said Benenson.

While Clinton has appeared in one-on-one interviews and made various television appearances throughout the campaign, she hasn't fielded open questions at a news conference since Dec. 4, 2015, when she answered seven questions from gathered journalists.

The former secretary of state's lack of appearances in front of the press has been noticed by Republican nominee Donald Trump, particularly as he makes himself available in the same setting every few weeks.

Trump himself has gone so far as to mock Clinton's reluctance to hold a press conference on Twitter, saying in a post on May 31: "I am getting great credit for my press conference today. Crooked Hillary should be admonished for not having a press conference in 179 days."

"She has answered hundreds, if not thousands, of questions from reporters in one-on-one interviews," said Benenson. "She's doing them every week."

Referring to Trump's comments on the issue, Benenson said, "You're setting up a standard that Donald Trump sets up, of, 'She hasn't had a press conference.'"

In early June, ABC News' Liz Kreutz noted that Clinton "has held just nine press avails with her traveling press corps since January, all of which have lasted 10 minutes or less." Those encounters were informal with small groups of reporters.

"The American people hear from her directly every day. They get to ask her questions every day," said Benenson.

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