Mar 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

It's been a year since the last daily White House press briefing

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The last daily White House press briefing was held one year ago — on March 11, 2019, when Sarah Huckabee Sanders was still President Trump's press secretary.

Why it matters: It's a significant milestone that is emblematic of the erosion of traditional norms regarding interactions between the White House and the press corps under the Trump administration.

  • White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham has yet to take the podium since assuming her position in July.
  • She told ABC News in September that "President Trump communicates directly with the American people more than any president in history. The fact that the White House press corps can no longer grandstand on TV is of no concern to us."

Worth noting: Trump administration officials have been at the podium in the briefing room since the last daily briefing took place — including the president himself.

  • There have been regular on-camera updates from Vice President Pence and his coronavirus task force since its formation in late February.
  • Perhaps most memorably, former acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said at the podium in October that freezing military aid to Ukraine was conditioned on investigations of political rivals. He was later forced to walk those comments back in the midst of impeachment heat against the president.
  • And Trump had long made himself available to the press with his "chopper talk" gaggles as he exited or entered the White House, though those events have decreased in frequency in recent months.

Go deeper: 13 former press secretaries urge Trump White House to hold briefings again

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