WKYT-TV (Channel 27) anchor Bill Bryant was among the 18 regional reporters selected for a dinner Monday with President Donald Trump at the White House.
The purpose of the dinner was to give the president a chance to sell his national agenda ahead of his budget address to a joint meeting of Congress on Tuesday night, Bryant said.
Chief of staff Reince Priebus, press secretary Sean Spicer and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway also joined the dinner. Vice President Mike Pence, the former governor of Indiana, stopped by and talked about his connections to Kentucky and his friendship with Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.
The mostly off-the-record conversation was “a good give-and-take ... a very candid conversation,” said Bryant, who also hosts KET’s “Comment on Kentucky.”
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Trump was “very pleasant and welcoming, very businesslike. ... He was very engaging, but very clear about what his priorities will be and seems to understand things will take time,” Bryant said.
Other reports said that the conversation between Trump and the reporters included topics such as the aggression of North Korea, whether Trump administration officials had contact with Russia, and how the Affordable Care Act will be replaced.
In his report about the dinner on WKYT-TV, Bryant said that Trump said he would make government more accountable to the people and increase military and law enforcement spending.
Trump and his administration have had an actively contentious relationship with mainly national media, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC.
Bryant kept his menu as a souvenir. Dinner included braised short ribs, red wine, mushroom confit and warm apple crumble tart. He said Trump will hold additional dinners with regional reporters.