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President Trump directed Sarah Sanders to cut back on press briefings

Author
Newstalk ZB, Washington Post,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 23 January 2019, 4:10p.m.
Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, last appeared at the White House podium December 18. (Photo / Bloomberg photo by Al Drago)

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he directed White House press secretary Sarah Sanders "not to bother" with press briefings because he believes that reporters are rude to her and that most members of the media will not cover the administration fairly.

News briefings, which used to be a near-daily occurrence, have become a rarity in the Trump White House. Sanders has not provided an on-camera briefing for more than a month, including the duration of the partial government shutdown.

"The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the 'podium' much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press," Trump said on Twitter. "I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway! Most will never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake News!"

Trump's tweet came shortly after White House spokesman Hogan Gidley was asked about the subject during a live interview on Fox News.

Gidley said the briefings had not permanently ended.

"It's not that they ever stopped, but sometimes we need to come to the podium to communicate things and sometimes we don't," Gidley said, adding that Sanders would "come back when she finds a reason to do that."

Gidley cited Trump's frequent public appearances as one reason the briefings have diminished in number.

Sanders last appeared at the White House podium December 18.

She and other White House officials have spoken to reporters in more-informal gaggles on the White House driveway several times since then. Most often, those sessions occur after television interviews conducted from the White House grounds.

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