Society

Trump Suggests Ending Daily Press Briefing

| by Jordan Smith

President Donald Trump twice proposed the idea of ending the daily White House press briefing.

He first floated the suggestion in a May 12 tweet and reiterated it during an interview with Fox News later in the day, CNN Money reported.

Trump was asked what should be done about his press team being unable to keep up with him.

"We don't have press conferences," Trump said, according to CNN. "We just don't have them. Unless I have them every two weeks and do it myself. We don't have them."

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In the tweet, Trump was even more dismissive of the need for press briefings: "Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future 'press briefings' and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???" he tweeted.

Trump elaborated in the interview on why he was considering the move.

"I think it's a good idea," Trump added. "First of all you have a level of hostility that's incredible and it's very unfair."

The president defended his press team, describing deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders as "a lovely young woman." Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, was "a wonderful human being" and "a nice man," Trump added.

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Nonetheless, Trump avoided committing himself on the question of Spicer's future.

"He's doing a good job but he gets beat up," he said.

Pressed by interviewer Jeanine Pirro if Spicer would remain in the job, Trump answered: "He's been there since the beginning."

Trump's comments followed strong criticism of the performance of his press team in the days after the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Sanders commented at the press briefing May 11 that Trump fired Comey based on a recommendation from the Justice Department, but Trump contradicted this in an interview later that day when he said it had been his decision.

Former Obama administration press secretary Josh Earnest stated that there was a "yawning credibility gap" with the briefings. The former campaign manager for John McCain, Steve Schmidt, stated that they contained "systemic, non-stop lying," according to The New York Times.

The White House Correspondents Association released a statement, declaring that ending the daily briefing "would reduce accountability, transparency, and the opportunity for Americans to see that, in the U.S. system, no political figure is above being questioned," Forbes reported.

One reason why Trump may decide to continue the press briefings might have to do with the audiences they are attracting.

"I'm not firing Sean Spicer," Trump said in April. "That guy gets great ratings."

Sources: CNN Money, The New York Times, Forbes, Donald J. Trump/Twitter / Photo credit: The White House/Wikimedia Commons

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