GREAT FALLS – KPAX’s Jill Valley got a rare view of the President Trump’s visit to Great Falls on Thursday and learned more on how covering the President works when you’re in the press pool.
Jill was the only Montana broadcast reporter who got the opportunity to tag along with the national press pool on Thursday, providing a chance to get closer to the President and watch the national correspondents work.
MTN News met the other national reporters as they got off Air Force One and gathered under the wing of the airplane. The reporters then waited for President Trump to come down the stairs to the dignitaries waiting to greet him. The President then he got into a waiting armored vehicle.
Reporters literally ran to the media buses and got into the motorcade headed toward the Four Seasons Arena. Every intersection was blocked and guarded by law enforcement and the crowds lined the streets all the way to the venue.
Jill and the other reporters set up in the press pen where most got their laptops set up and began live tweeting or sending stories to their newsrooms.
The reporters had to leave the arena before the President was finished speaking to get back on the bus so they were ready to get back in line with the motorcade.
Heading back to Great Falls International Airport, the streets were still lined with people, all taking pictures and videos of the procession — which was impressive with giant black SUV’s, the buses — and the emergency vehicles — with all the flashing lights escorting the president.
Jill spoke with a CNN reporter who said the trick is to make it back to the airport in time to see the President walk back up into the plane. That’s because sometimes, he’ll stop and talk to reporters and I was hoping that would happen but we didn’t
Jill said her biggest takeaway was that they don’t waste time. Once Air Force One landed, it was full speed ahead — and President Trump doesn’t wait for the media.