White House undermining press briefing

Posted June 24, 2017

The civil complaint notes that Trump has deleted several tweets since taking office and cites media reports that White House staffers have been communicating via Signal and Confide, messaging apps that delete messages after they are read.

As part of the strategy to legislate in the dark, Donald Trump's White House has ordered news outlets to cut off their recordings for most of the press briefings over the past few weeks. This is by artist Bill Hennessy, who's a well-known courtroom artist.

A pair of watchdog organizations, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive (NSA), filed the suit Thursday a federal district court to challenge actions by the White House "that seek to evade transparency and government accountability" and appear to violate the Presidential Records Act.

Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded with an epic smack-down, saying she's surprised that the network that relies so heavily on anonymously-sourced innuendo is suddenly crowing about off-camera pressers. CNN did not send a cartoonist in order to make fun of the briefing. You know that freedom?

But the timing of Thursday's prohibition on live broadcasts - and of previous bans - suggests another motivation: ducking the spotlight in key moments. It's a briefing without the cameras. ". I think that we have done a very good job of not just providing opportunities here at a daily briefing but also making ourselves available as a staff nearly 24 hours a day when it comes down to it". But all indications, including inquiries to top government officials and government agencies tasked with tracking White House information and infrastructure, point to no such official recording system existing. And the frayed relationship is occupying more and more of everyone's time, creating a distraction from issues of greater concern to the general public.

The result is a toxic relationship between the White House, which thinks the press should be less adversarial, and the media, which believes its job is to be adversarial.

Immediately after the briefing ended, when the White House rules stipulated that the briefing audio was usable, CNN aired the briefing in its entirety. Jeff, just back over to you at the White House.

"We made that clear, from the beginning, that in a variety of ways we are going to look to do things differently, to do things better", Spicer said. With a possible vote days away, the White House hasn't seen the health care bill in its entirety, according to a senior White House official.