President Donald Trump held a surprise press conference in lieu of a White House press briefing Thursday but did not take any questions from reporters. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to take questions as well.
Sanders announced the surprise briefing on Twitter just minutes before it was set to begin.
Moments later, President Trump made his first-ever appearance behind the podium in the White House briefing room, flanked by eight by Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who later took turns speaking in support of Trump’s proposed border wall.
Trump spoke about new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the government shutdown, and the border wall but did not take any questions from reporters.
Trump Makes First Comments All About Nancy Pelosi
The impromptu appearance came after extensive coverage of Pelosi’s election as the new House Speaker after the new Congress was sworn in on Thursday.
“I just want to start off by congratulating Nancy Pelosi on being elected speaker of the House,” Trump said. “It’s a very, very great achievement, and hopefully we’re going to work together, and we’re going to get lots of things done, like infrastructure and so much more, and I know they want to do that very badly and so do I.”
“So hopefully we have a lot of things we can get done together and I actually think it will work out,” he continued. “I think it will be a little bit different than a lot of people are thinking so I congratulate Nancy. Tremendous, tremendous achievement.”
Trump Insists on Wall After Pelosi Says It’s Not Going to Happen
After Pelosi earlier said that the Democrats would not accept any deal that includes funding for the proposed border wall, Trump insisted that the idea is very popular before letting the border agents speak.
“I have never had so much support as I have in the last week over my stance for border security, for border control, and for frankly, the wall or the barrier,” he said. “You can call it a wall, you can call it a barrier, whatever you want.”
Reporters were noticeably frustrated when Trump and Sanders both left without taking any questions.
“Sarah, are you coming back? Are you not taking any questions at all?” a reporter shouted.
“The point of the briefing room is to take questions!” another reporter added.