Another Off-Camera WH Briefing Draws Protests, Interruptions From CNN


White House press secretary Sean Spicer got into a heated exchange Monday with CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta over the administration's lack of televised press briefings.

"The briefing is one small part of what this extensive staff does to engage the media", Spicer said.

The Trump White House has taken to rarely holding on-camera press briefings, a move that many (including Acosta) see as an attack on press freedom. Spicer has said the policy is created to thwart reporters who are trying "to become YouTube stars" by asking "some snarky question".

TV cameras are unmanned as White House spokesman Sean Spicer holds a off-camera briefing (no TV) at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 26, 2017.

The on-camera press briefing is something that has long marked the daily back and forth between the White House and the reporters who cover it. It's a legitimate question.

"Yeah, some days we'll have them and some days we won't", Spicer replied, pointing out that President Donald Trump was speaking on camera later in the day with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The White House's continued refusal to answer reporters' questions on camera had journalists steamed on Monday at an off-camera briefing.

Spicer has complained reporters do too much grandstanding for the cameras. He then defended the decision to restrict press access, saying the daily briefing is just "one aspect of what we do".

Spicer also met today with the White House Correspondents Association, which has expressed concerns about dwindling opportunities to question the new administration in open, free-wheeling formats.

But Spicer called that claim "truly fake news" in an interview Monday afternoon. Audio from the briefing was embargoed until the event had ended. "We believe strongly that Americans should be able to watch and listen to senior government officials face questions from an independent news media, in keeping with the principles of the First Amendment and the need for transparency at the highest levels of government", it reads.

The White House knows all of this. The president's going to speak today in the Rose Garden, I want the president's voice to carry the day.

Shortly after the meeting, Spicer held an off-camera briefing.