In an interview with Fox & Friends on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said it was not a change of earth-shattering importance that the administration will hold fewer press conferences.
The day before, President Trump tweeted this: “The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the ‘podium’ much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press. I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway! Most will never cover us fairly & hence the term, Fake News!”
Asked about that tweet, Sanders said the White House was not cutting off communications with the media.
“I take questions from reporters every single day,” she said. “The idea that this White House isn’t accessible to the press is absolutely laughable. I’ve done over 100 briefings, answered thousands of questions from members of the press.
“I stopped last night after I finished an interview where I took questions, more questions from a gaggle of reporters standing right outside the building behind me,” she continued. “I’m sure I will do that again here in a few minutes. The president takes questions nearly every single day from reporters. And we’re on call almost 24 hours a day. I talked to reporters on my way in to work this morning. The idea that we’re not answering questions is absolutely absurd.”
The hosts asked Sanders if there would be no further daily press briefings.
“Look, we’ll see what happens,” said Sanders. “As the president said yesterday, he doesn’t like the decorum in the White House. We’re in the business of getting information to the American people, not making stars out of people that want to become contributors on CNN, and that is a lot of times what we see take place in the briefing room.”
Heh. Think she had anyone specific in mind with that last remark?
Frankly, this was probably long overdue. If the White House has information that needs to be disseminated to the public, we’re sure they won’t hesitate to call the press pool into the briefing room and hold a conference. If there are questions to be asked of Trump or his administration, it’s just as Sanders said: This is one of the most open, transparent White Houses in modern history. Honest journalists will say as much.
But the daily press briefing was nothing more than a staged battle between starry-eyed clowns and Sarah Sanders, and that wasn’t serving any purpose whatsoever. Any decision by the president that gives Jim Acosta less time to grandstand for his bosses at CNN is a good decision.