Trump:Don't Bother With Daily Briefing 01/23 06:23
NEW YORK (AP) -- President Donald Trump says he directed White House Press
Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders not to bother with the traditional daily
briefing of reporters.
The last briefing took place on Dec. 18.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the president said the press covers Sanders "so
rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press.
"I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway!" he tweeted. "Most will
never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake News!"
The afternoon briefing has been a staple of cable news schedules during the
past few administrations and the sight of Sanders' predecessor Sean Spicer at
the podium was an enduring image of the early days of Trump's tenure.
The White House Correspondents Association called the decision a retreat
from transparency and accountability that 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," said Olivier Knox, president of the
White House Correspondents Association.
Trump's preferred mode of communication, besides social media, is interviews
on Fox News and informal question-and-answer sessions with reporters. Sanders
has said it makes more sense for the public to hear from the president himself.
Counting interviews, short question-and-answer sessions and formal news
conferences, Trump is second only the President Bill Clinton in accessibility
during the first two years of his presidency, going back to President Ronald
Reagan, a study has found.
Through Jan. 10, Trump has had 577 media availabilities since he's been
president, according to Martha Kumar, a Towson State University professor and
expert on White House Communications. Clinton had 610 in his first two year;
Barack Obama had 396, Kumar said.
Defenders of the briefings say they generally give reporters the opportunity
to set the agenda, and also to learn about what an administration is doing
below the presidential level.