Last year, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that his team was reconsidering many White House traditions, including the daily press briefing. “Even looking at things like the daily White House briefing from the press secretary,” he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, “there’s a lot of different ways that things can be done, and I can assure you we’re looking at that.” Priebus must have not liked what he saw, because Monday afternoon’s press briefing was held off-camera, with reporters forbidden from even broadcasting audio.
These are dark days for Sean Spicer, who CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta called “kind of useless.” He added, “If they’re getting to this point where he’s not going to answer questions or go on camera or have audio, why are we even having these briefings or gaggles in the first place?” It’s no wonder Spicer’s reportedly being considered for a new position in the White House, one that would remove him from his mobile podium.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer is leading a search for his own replacement on the briefing room podium as part of a larger plan to shake up the White House communications operation, according to two people with knowledge of the effort… And as Spicer interviews job candidates, he has been pushing to move into a new role senior to both the communications director and press secretary, according to the people familiar with the discussions. (Via)
For now, though, Spicer is still press secretary, although both he and Sarah Huckabee Sanders have refused to respond to queries about the changes in the briefings. Unlike Steve Bannon, who this in a text message to the Atlantic:
Asked why the briefings are now routinely held off-camera, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said in a text message “Sean got fatter,” and did not respond to a follow-up.
The White House has gone full Mean Girls, and Bannon is Regina George.
(Via the Atlantic)