Spicer Backs Reduction in Press Briefings: They Were a 'Circus,' Reporters Trying to Go Viral
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday that the White House made the right call in stopping daily press briefings.
President Trump tweeted Tuesday that current Press Secretary Sarah Sanders doesn't deliver many press briefings lately because of how "rudely and inaccurately" the press covers her.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019
Spicer said that press briefings are held in lieu of the president engaging with the media himself, something that Trump does not shy away from.
"There is no way that you can say that this president is leaving the press wondering what he thinks on any given issue," he said on America's Newsroom.
He added that press briefings have turned into a "circus," in which "B-rate reporters" become "YouTube stars" because of their clashes with Sanders.
Spicer said that there are many more "efficient" ways the White House can provide information to the public and the media.
"[Reporters] are supposed to ask tough, hard questions. It's about the conduct," he said. "They want to make it into a circus. They want to make themselves stars. They want to get viral videos. I get that."
Earlier Wednesday on Fox & Friends, Sanders said that it's "absolutely laughable" for some to think that the White House is not accessible to the press.
The president of the White House Correspondents' Association released a statement Tuesday condemning what it called the White House's "retreat from transparency and accountability."
"While other avenues exist to obtain information, the robust, public back-and-forth we’ve come to expect in the James S. Brady briefing room helps highlight that no one in a healthy republic is above being questioned," Olivier Knox said.
Sanders said that she, the president and officials within the White House are "on-call almost 24 hours a day" when it comes to speaking with the press.
"We're more than happy to take questions, but we think that there should be a certain level of decorum and a certain level of honesty and responsibility that comes with that," she said.
Watch more of Spicer's interview above from America's Newsroom.