|WHCA President Olivier Knox|
Knox spoke to me this week during an interview for my new podcast, Joe's Media Corner, which can be heard HERE.
"Until the Trump era I am not aware of any of my colleagues needing security details," Knox said during our interview on Tuesday. "There are several reporters in the press corps who need a security detail because they've had credible threats against their safety ... I know of three but I'm sure there are more. People tend to keep this hush-hush because they don't want to encourage people."
Knox did not have the logistics of the security and declined to name specific people, but said "there has always been a fringe element that threatens reporters ... but you now have a president who encourages his followers to jeer at us and insult us and talks about how he will pay the legal fees of people who will beat up protesters and it trickles down."
Knox said the anti-press view dates back to when Trump first called out the press as outlaws soon after his inauguration.
"I still divide my career into pre- and post-February of 2017 because that's when the president called us the enemies of the people," he said, later noting that soon after that he was dropping his child off at a soccer practice and the boy "burst in to tears and said, 'Papa, is President Trump going to put you in prison?' That hits home and it also tells you the reach of the president's rhetoric on this stuff."
Knox, who became White House Correspondents Association president this past summer, also detailed what the organization does beyond the annual dinner, how the group is working to improve access to information, the recent cutback in daily briefings and how Trump is actually accessible in other ways. Listen HERE.