- Chip Somodevilla/Getty
- White House press briefings are getting shorter, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.
- The sessions have lost three minutes every month since January, a rate that means they would disappear by November.
White House press briefings are getting shorter every month, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.
The sessions have lost three minutes every month since January, when the average was 30 minutes. At this rate, the report notes, the press briefing would disappear by November.
Briefings under the Trump administration are comparatively shorter than the past two administrations.
According to CNN, briefings averaged 32 minutes in former President George W. Bush’s eight years as president. Former President Barack Obama’s lasted an average of nearly 70 minutes.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been reported to limit her time for questions with habits like arriving late and reading off a list of announcements. Sanders has had tense confrontations with reporters in the past who have pushed for explanations on Trump’s statements or have questioning the administration’s policies and practices.
The shrinking press briefings are another sign of the Trump administration’s tense relationship with the press, which Trump has said is full of “sick people“.
Trump once even suggested ending press briefings all together, a sharp departure from presidential norms.
…Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future "press briefings" and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
Former Press Secretary Sean Spicer once blocked CNN, Politico and New York Times reporters from a press gaggle and last year controversially tried to institute off-camera briefings. This drew backlash most notable from the White House Correspondents’ Association, which in part describes its mission as “fighting for openness and transparency in every operation of the presidency.”