×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

White House Correspondents: End of Daily Briefing ‘Sets a Terrible Precedent’

WASHINGTON — The president of the White House Correspondents’ Association said the apparent end of the daily White House press briefing “sets a terrible precedent.”

President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he told press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders “not to bother” with the daily briefing, which has been a longtime tradition in which a White House official answered questions in the briefing room to a group of 50 or so reporters. The last press briefing was held on Dec. 18.

Olivier Knox, chief Washington correspondent for SiriusXM and president of the WHCA, said “this retreat from transparency and accountability sets a terrible precedent. Being able to question the press secretary or other senior government officials publicly helps the news media tell Americans what their most powerful representatives are doing in their name.”

“While other avenues exist to obtain information, the robust, public back and forth we’ve come to expect in the James A. Brady briefing room helps highlight that no one in a healthy republic is above being questioned,” he added.

Trump tweeted on Tuesday, “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!”

Trump has been taking questions from reporters, sometimes multiple times per day, and Sanders and Kellyanne Conway have been fielding questions in unscheduled appearances before cameras as they enter and exit the West Wing.

The briefings became a staple on C-SPAN and other outlets during the Clinton administration, when press secretary Mike McCurry allowed cameras to cover, live, the back and forth with reporters. When Trump took office, they even became must-see TV, covered on cable news outlets as then-press secretary Sean Spicer sparred with some reporters.

The frequency of briefings tapered off last year, and Sanders has clashed with some correspondents, including CNN’s Jim Acosta.

But past press secretaries have said that the briefings serve a useful purpose. In an email last month, McCurry said that “since this President is his own press secretary I am not sure anyone wants to go out to do a ‘briefing’ that might be overturned by the next tweet.

“But what we lose is someone standing before the media … the surrogates for the American public … and being asked questions about government policies, the White House and its staff, and whatever else the President is up to,” McCurry wrote. He has suggested that instead of allowing live, televised briefings, it should be embargoed until after it ends.

“That would require reporters to test info in the briefing against other sources,” he said.

On Tuesday afternoon, there again was no briefing. But Larry Kudlow, top economic adviser to Trump, did a standup interview from the briefing room, and afterward took questions from reporters. Still, it was impromptu — not the daily press briefing of the past.

 

More Politics

  • Roger Stone, longtime advisor to President

    Judge Orders New Hearing With Roger Stone After Instagram Post

    WASHINGTON — U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ordered a hearing for Thursday to consider whether to modify her limited gag order on Roger Stone, or to even revoke the the conditions of his release, in light of his Instagram post in that featured a photo of her with the symbol of a rifle [...]

  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), speaks during

    Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Presidential Run

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced he would again run for president, promising in an interview Tuesday on “CBS This Morning” that that “we’re gonna win.” Sanders aggressively challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016, and his focus on economic populism has helped shift the party leftward, as is evident as the field of [...]

  • Donald Trump

    Trump Rails Against 'SNL,' Again, And Suggests 'Retribution' for NBC

    WASHINGTON — President Trump once again took aim at “Saturday Night Live,” suggesting that there should be a price to pay by TV networks for delivering such scathing satire. “Nothing funny about tired Saturday Night Live on Fake News NBC! Question is, how do the Networks get away with these total Republican hit jobs without [...]

  • Roger Stone (L), longtime advisor to

    Judge Places Gag Order on Roger Stone Case

    WASHINGTON — A federal judge imposed a gag order on Roger Stone’s legal proceedings that places some limitations on what he, his lawyers, and other parties say about the case. Stone, a longtime associate of President Donald Trump, was arrested last month after special counsel Robert Mueller brought charges that he misled the House Intelligence Committee [...]

  • Donald Trump

    Trump Declares National Emergency Because of ‘Invasion’ at Border

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to secure funding to build a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, a move that is certain to provoke a constitutional legal challenge. In a speech at the Rose Garden at the White House, Trump said, “we are talking about an invasion of our country.” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content