Yesterday marked one full week since White House press secretary Sean Spicer has held an on-camera press briefing. This, of course, wasn’t lost on reporters and correspondents, who began publicly grumbling about the lack of press availability and transparency.
And while Spicer has commented that he’s continued to hold off-camera gaggles on a daily basis to keep the press office engaged with the media, we now have evidence that even counting those, this White House has been less available to the press than the previous administration.
Based on calculations by the Washington Post, through the first 46 days of the Obama and Trump White Houses, this administration has spent 242 fewer minutes taking questions from the press, representing a 20 percent decline from the Obama administration.
At this stage of Obama’s presidency, his White House spokespeople had devoted 20 hours and 22 minutes to exchanges with journalists in 32 total gatherings. Trump’s representatives have been available 26 times, for 16 hours and 20 minutes.
WaPo also noted that it counted the 40-minute gaggle that excluded certain media outlets like CNN, Politico and the New York Times, which caused quite a bit of outrage within the press. However, the publication did not include the short statement made by Spicer the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration when he claimed Trump’s inauguration audience was the largest ever.
It was also noted that this current White House has held the fewest formal briefings among the last four administrations.
[image via screengrab]
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