Fact Checking the Clinton Campaign’s Characterization of the Candidate’s Q&A’s with Traveling Press Corps

Campaign says "no reluctance," but the numbers say otherwise.

ByABC News
June 5, 2016, 5:47 PM

OAKLAND, California -- A Clinton campaign official on Sunday fought back against the notion that Hillary Clinton is reluctant to talk to reporters by saying the Democratic presidential candidate "oftentimes" spends 15 to 20 minutes talking to her traveling press corps after campaign events.

"There's no reluctance," Clinton's national press secretary Brian Fallon said on CNN's "Reliable Sources" about the Democratic presidential candidate's willingness to engage with the press. "Oftentimes we'll do an event at the end of the day. We'll do an avail ... where she informally comes out after an event has concluded, after she's taken some photos and selfies, and she'll literally stand there for 15, 20 minutes and answer questions from her traveling press corps."

"Bottom line is she's answering questions from reporters covering her day to day," he added.

But according to an ABC News tally, Clinton has held just nine press avails with her traveling press corps since January, all of which have lasted 10 minutes or less.

It is standard practice for presidential candidates to take questions from reporters on the campaign trail. And these gaggles offer an opportunity for the press corps out with the candidate every day to get into specifics that go beyond the stump speech.

Her most recent gaggle was nearly a month ago on May 9 in Stone Ridge, Virginia. It lasted just over two minutes.

Here is the list of every time Clinton has stopped to take questions from her traveling press this year, according to ABC News' records:

3/1/16 - Minneapolis Length: Roughly 5 minutes

3/10/16 - Tampa, FloridaLength: Roughly 5 minutes

3/15/16 - Raleigh, North CarolinaLength: Roughly 4 minutes

3/29/16 - La Crosse, WisconsinLength: Roughly 5 minutes

4/7/16 - The Bronx, New YorkLength: Roughly 7 minutes

4/8/16 - Buffalo, New YorkLength: Roughly 5 minutes

4/11/16 - Jackson Heights, New YorkLength: Roughly 10 minutes

4/18/16 - Flushing, New YorkLength: Roughly 3 minutes

5/9/16 - Stone Ridge, VirginiaLength: Roughly 2.5 minutes

Fallon declined to address the apparent discrepancy between his characterization and the schedule when asked about it by ABC News.

Clinton has done a number of one-on-one TV interviews with local reporters and national outlets, including ABC News as recently as Sunday morning, during this time -- a point Clinton herself made in a recent interview when asked if she plans to do a press conference soon.

"I had my team check. I have done nearly 300 interviews just in 2016. And I believe that it's important to continue to, you know, speak to the press as I'm doing right now," she said on CNN last week.

The Clinton campaign, however, will not release its list of 300 interviews, despite multiple requests for it from ABC News.

Throughout her campaign, Clinton has been criticized for her limited interactions with the media. Donald Trump — who often holds formal press conferences — has even latched on it as a line of attack.

"I am getting great credit for my press conference today. Crooked Hillary should be admonished for not having a press conference in 179 days," Trump tweeted recently.

Last summer, Clinton held more frequent, formal press conferences -- some of which lasted up to 20 minutes -- but that has stalled. The last time she held a press conference was on December 4 in Fort Ridge, Iowa.

When asked during a CNN interview last week if she will hold one soon, Clinton said, "I'm sure we will."

ABC News’ Nicole Phillip contributed to this report.