White House spokesman Spicer draws heat off camera

Marie Harrington
June 27, 2017

Spicer's answer prompted Acosta, CNN's senior White House correspondent, to interrupt and demand that Spicer "tell us why you turned the cameras off".

"Maybe you should turn the cameras on, Sean?" Mr Spicer has recently claimed that White House reporters ask "snarky" questions to become "YouTube stars". Acosta, however, wasn't ready to let it go.

"Why are the cameras off, Sean? We are in the room. the lights are on".

Listen to the exchange below.

Board members of the White House Correspondents Association met with Spicer on Monday and expressed the importance of Americans getting the chance to question leaders.

So far, the White House has held just four on-camera press briefings this month.

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Many media pundits and White House reporters themselves slammed the White House communications department for avoiding the daily televised press briefings, which yielded illuminating and occasionally embarrassing information about President Donald Trump and his administration.

"The briefing is one small part of what this extensive staff does to engage the media", Spicer said. Acosta asked in a press briefing on Monday.

"It's a legitimate question", chimed in April Ryan, a veteran reporter for the American Urban Radio Networks and a CNN contributor.

Acosta asserted that CNN has been "blackballed" from asking questions at press briefings and news conferences - an alleged ban that calls to mind the Obama White House's attempts to freeze out Fox News in 2009. Audio from the briefing was embargoed until the event had ended. Can you just give us an answer to that?' he asked.

"Some days we'll have it - some days we won't", Spicer said, noting Trump would be speaking later alongside India's prime minister. He - and deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders - tend to be extremely terse when answering questions and, when asked about President Trump's view on a particular issue, often insist they simply haven't asked the president. Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason is association president. In addition, some outlets - particularly the New York Times and Washington Post - have been able to circumvent official White House channels with leaks from administration officials. That makes it unlikely that the entire press corps would act as one in any protest, said a veteran White House reporter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to give a frank opinion. Trump was not scheduled to take questions during the garden appearance with Modi.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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