The White House's iconic James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, renovated a decade ago with modern lights and wiring, may soon be much quieter. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" that, at least temporarily, the daily briefings may move "50 feet to the EEOB," the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, across West Executive Drive from the White House.
Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary tells me: "While no decisions have been made, there is enormous interest in covering Donald Trump … The current briefing room only has 49 seats so we have looked at rooms within the White House to conduct briefings that have additional capacity to accommodate members of media including talk radio, bloggers and others."
It looks like the most likely new venue is on the first floor of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, South Court — new and TV-ready, with 150 seats.
Spicer was responding to an Esquire posting by Peter Boyer, a former Fox News executive and New Yorker writer, quoting a senior Trump official as saying of the press: "They are the opposition party … I want 'em out of the building. We are taking back the press room."
- The inside take: The press will fight furiously to keep briefings in the West Wing, however cramped and inconvenient. In the first year of Bill Clinton's presidency, communications director George Stephanopoulos got hammered for closing a door between the press and his staff. The late Gwen Ifill, then of The New York Times, reported that ordering "the reopening of the door" was one of David Gergen's Day 1 moves when he was brought in, in June 1993, to engineer a reset with the press: "The closing of the door in January had sent relations between the reporters and Mr. Clinton off to a bad start."