Trump: What if we ended the daily press briefing and I did a press conference myself every two weeks?
This … could be a good idea, actually! Provided that when he suggests ending the daily briefing, he means ending the garbage on-camera spectacle we’ve all come to know and hate. As a matter of basic accountability, the press secretary would still need to be made available to answer questions off-camera from the media day to day, whether via a gaggle or some other format. The Sean Spicers and Josh Earnests of the world rarely make real news in their interactions with the press. but it does happen. Can’t take that away.
In exchange for losing their daily TV privileges the media would get a televised crack at the president himself twice a month, which, if February’s presser was any measure, would make more news and provide more entertainment than 10 Spicer briefings. But here’s the problem: Who trusts Trump to stick to the two-week schedule reliably over time? Maybe there’d be two pressers the first month, then one the next month, then none the month after, and meanwhile the daily briefing would be long gone. The way to get him to commit might be to suggest bi-monthly primetime press conferences, some of which may be picked up by the broadcast networks. Turn the presidential press conference into a fortnightly “Trump Show” at 9 p.m. ET and you might hook him.
Also, note how quickly he answers Pirro’s question about whether he’s moving too fast for the White House communications team. He’s right, but he seems to think the problem is that they’re not moving fast enough to keep up with him rather than him not looping them in on his decisions with sufficient advance time to form a strategy.
The news stunned Comey, who saw news of his dismissal on TV while speaking inside the FBI office in Los Angeles. It startled all but the uppermost ring of White House advisers, who said grumbling about Comey hadn’t dominated their own morning senior staff meetings. Other top officials learned just before it happened and were unaware Trump was considering firing Comey. “Nobody really knew,” one senior White House official said. “Our phones all buzzed and people said, ‘What?’”…
Two White House officials said there was little communications strategy in handling the firing, and that staffers were given talking points late Tuesday for hastily arranged media appearances. Aides soon circulated previous quotes from Schumer hitting Comey. After Schumer called for a special prosecutor, the White House huddled in press secretary Sean Spicer’s office to devise a strategy and sent “fresh faces” to TV, one White House official said.
Trump had reportedly been thinking of firing Comey for a whole week yet the press team got caught flat-footed. If that’s because he was afraid to let his own people know ahead of time for fear that the news would leak then he has bigger problems with Spicer’s department than the daily briefing. Exit question: He’s a little hesitant when asked about Spicer’s future, no?