Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

Saturday, May 13, 2017 1:00 am

Trump may eliminate daily press briefing

Associated Press

NEW YORK – President Donald Trump threatened to shut down daily press briefings Friday as he sought to defend his White House from criticism of its shifting explanations and misstatements about the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Trump's statements, through a tweet and later TV interview, threaten a Washington institution that is the most high-profile forum for journalists to question the government about policy and the news of the day.

Press secretary Sean Spicer was back behind the podium Friday after Sarah Huckabee Sanders subbed for him for two days.

Spicer was answering questions Friday about Comey's firing. The White House first said this week that Trump made the move because of a negative memo about Comey from the Justice Department, only to have the president later say he made the decision before seeing the memo. Conflicting stories were the topic of much media discussion.

That led Trump to tweet Friday morning, “As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy.”

He added, “Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future 'press briefings' and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???”

In an interview with Fox News Channel's Jeannine Pirro set to air today, Trump suggested eliminating the daily briefings and instead having one every two weeks – conducted by him.

“First of all, you have a level of hostility that's incredible and it's very unfair,” he said. He said Spicer is a nice man “but he gets beat up.”