Today, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer conducted a “closed” press briefing — forbidding reporters and news agencies from broadcasting audio or video from the briefing room.
Reporters were allowed to record audio for their own use, but not to air it. The last on-air press briefing took place on Monday, June 12, per Mark Knoller of CBS News.
Today’s “blackout” of what was once a daily ritual is an escalation in the Trump Administration’s ongoing hostilities with what President Donald Trump has termed the “fake news” media. Just recently, Trump claimed the “fake news” media “hates” when he uses social media, even though those same social media posts often drive the day’s news cycle.
Spicer reportedly defended the move by claiming that the President will speak later in the day, so Trump should “be the one that speaks.”
As Press Secretary, speaking on behalf of the president is Spicer’s job.
Critics say that the Trump Administration blacks out press briefings to make it easier to deny media reports and limit access to Administration officials.
CNN’s Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta trashed the secretive format in a series of tweets today, saying the White House “should have the backbone to answer questions on camera.”