Speaking of availability...
Journalists voiced their frustrations after the White House barred them from recording video or audio footage during Monday afternoon’s press briefing.
Jim Acosta, CNN’s Senior White House Correspondent, condemned the White House’s action in statements to his Twitter followers and rebuked Spicer for ignoring his questions. Acosta later called the briefing “bizarre.”
Call me old fashioned but I think the White House of the United States of America should have the backbone to answer questions on camera.— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 19, 2017
The White House press secretary is getting to a point where he’s just kind of useless,” Acosta said after the briefing, noting that Spicer conducted the last on-camera briefing last Monday. “If they’re getting to this point where he’s not going to answer questions or go on camera or have audio, why are we even having these briefings or gaggles in the first place?”
Spicer himself provided conflicting explanations when asked by several reporters, including Time‘s Zeke Miller, “why our friends in radio and television can’t use this live.”
“There are days where we decide that the president’s voice should be the one who speaks for the administration,” Spicer responded. He acknowledged that President Trump had spoken earlier that day at a photo opportunity with Juan Carlos Varela, the president of Panama. When another reporter told Spicer to “please ask the president to be ever so kind and step up here and answer some questions” on days no cameras or audio recording devices are permitted, Spicer said, “I’ll be sure to share your sentiments with the president.”