Breakfast Briefing, 5.16.2017: Another day, another crisis for White House comms staff

The Washington Post's story saying President Donald Trump shared classified information with Russian officials sent the White House communications team into overdrive on Monday. They didn't respond to the stress well, according to several reports.

(By Zach Rudisin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
(By Zach Rudisin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Trump administration again in crisis mode
The White House is again trying to put out a fire, this time over revelations that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russia’s top diplomat during their Oval Office meeting last week. The story was broken by The Washington Post on Monday afternoon and confirmed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Reuters, and BuzzFeed. Trump, of course, made former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s handling of State Department emails a major part of his presidential campaign last year. The White House has issued an indirect denial; one of the Post’s reporters on the story said the Trump administration is playing "word games."

Another day, another crisis for White House communications team
The chaotic scene in the West Wing resulted in several behind-the-curtain stories about how the White House communications team handled the crisis. Several communications team members huddled in an office and used the old "turn up the TV so mom can’t hear what we’re talking about" trick after reporters tweeted about shouting coming from the room, according to several reports. One senior aide snapped to a Daily Beast reporter, "Don’t ask me how this looks; we all know how this looks."

Hannity conducts White House communications director job interview on air
Sean Hannity, Fox News’ last man standing, peppered Laura Ingraham with questions about whether she would consider taking the communications director job in the White House on Monday night’s show. The radio host and Lifezette founder, who was reportedly in consideration for a White House gig before Trump’s inauguration, didn’t rule it out. Trump is considering shaking up his communications team, according to several reports.

Leader of Hispanic marketing group says brands are backing away
Linda Lane Gonzalez, the chair of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, has claimed brands are backing off marketing to Latinos since Trump’s election. She told the Financial Times: "We are all talking about three to four clients that we have lost in this new political environment — which I describe as open racism."

And the latest brand saying sorry for an ill-conceived ad is…
McDonald’s, which is apologizing to its U.K. customers after developing an ad featuring a boy struggling to deal with the death of a parent. Critics said the spot takes advantage of childhood bereavement. The fast-food chain said it was trying to highlight the uplifting role McDonald’s plays in customers’ lives, according to CNBC.

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