Sep 23, 2019

Stephanie Grisham says White House briefings were "theater"

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told "Fox & Friends" Monday that she has no plans to resume regular press briefings.

The big picture: The briefings, which started during the Clinton administration, have become increasingly rare in President Trump's White House. It has been more than 6 months since a press secretary has held a traditional briefing.

  • In January, Trump tweeted that he told Grisham's predecessor, Sarah Sanders, "not to bother" with briefings because the press covered her "rudely and inaccurately."
"Ultimately, if the president decides that it's something we should do, we can do that. But right now, he's doing just fine. And to be honest, the briefings had become a lot of theater, and I think that a lot of reporters were doing it to get famous. They're writing books now. They're all getting famous off of this presidency, so I think it's great what we're doing now."
— Stephanie Grisham to "Fox & Friends"

The other side: Grisham said Trump is his own best spokesperson, and she called him the "most accessible president in history," citing his frequent informal gaggles with the press.

  • Critics argue that format is insufficient and that daily briefings present a regular venue in which the press can challenge the administration.
  • "While other avenues exist to obtain information, the robust, public back-and-forth we've come to expect in the James A. Brady Briefing Room helps highlight that no one in a healthy republic is above being questioned," said former White House Correspondents' Association president Oliver Knox in January.

Go deeper: Trump allies raise money to target reporters

Go deeper

Jim Jordan suggests Trump was joking about China investigating Bidens

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said on ABC's “This Week” on Sunday that he doesn't think President Trump was serious when he said last week that China should launch an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, suggesting that it was an attempt to get the press "all spun up."

Go deeperArrowOct 6, 2019

White House says Trump condemns fake video attacking media

Trump holds a press conference at Trump National Doral. Photo: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted on Monday that President Trump has not yet seen the violent fake video played at an event for his supporters, but that he "strongly condemns" it. Trump himself has not tweeted about the video or issued a statement.

Background: The video, first reported by the New York Times, is an edited clip from the film "Kingsman: The Secret Service," that shows Trump stabbing and shooting media outlets and political opponents in the "Church of Fake News." The group that put on the event, American Priority, confirmed to the Times that the video was shown at a conference at the Trump National Doral resort in Miami.

Go deeperArrowOct 14, 2019

Scoop: Trump's private concerns of an impeachment legacy

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump has told friends and allies he worries about the stain impeachment will leave on his legacy.

Driving the news: In a phone call with House Republicans on Friday, Trump articulated why he really doesn't want this. Impeachment, Trump said, is a "bad thing to have on your resume," according to a source on the call. Two other sources on the call confirmed the substance of the comment, but one said they recalled Trump phrasing it as "you don't want it [impeachment] on your resume."

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 7, 2019