Due to the “fake news media” treating White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders “rudely,” President Trump has directed his media spokeswoman to “not bother” with any more press briefings.
“The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the ‘podium’ much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press,” the president tweeted Tuesday. “I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway! Most will never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake News!”
As The Hill notes, the White House under President Trump has “come under fire from media organizations for the lack of regular press briefings.” Sanders has not held a single press briefing in 2019, which may in part stem from the current government shutdown. The last press briefing occurred on December 18, 2018.
The president was reportedly reacting to a recent Fox News interview in which White House spokesman Hogan Gidley “defended Sanders’s handling of the press corps.”
“It’s not that they’ve ever stopped, it’s just that sometimes we need to come to the podium to communicate things and sometimes we don’t,” Gidley said. “A lot of the times when we don’t come to the podium it’s because the president has addressed the American people himself.”
“It’s kind of ridiculous, you can’t win for losing half the time,” he continued. “But the fact is, when the president isn’t going up we have a conversation about the message we deliver, and Sarah Sanders will absolutely be back at the podium talking to the press and delivering the message to the American people.”
The president’s swipe at the media for inaccurate and rude stories comes after a weekend replete with some of the most inaccurate and rude stories the media has produced since the Brett Kavanaugh SCOTUS battle. On top of BuzzFeed’s Special Counsel-disputed report that President Trump directed his former attorney Michael Cohen to commit perjury, the media collectively mobbed a group of MAGA hat-wearing Catholic schoolboys attending the March for Life over the weekend by pushing a now-debunked story that they were bullying a Native American protester while chanting phrases like “build the wall.” On both counts, President Trump blasted the media for its deceitfulness.
“Looking like Nick Sandman & Covington Catholic students were treated unfairly with early judgements proving out to be false – smeared by media,” Trump tweeted. “Not good, but making big comeback! ‘New footage shows that media was wrong about teen’s encounter with Native American.'”
“Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be,” he later added. “They have captivated the attention of the world, and I know they will use it for the good – maybe even to bring people together. It started off unpleasant, but can end in a dream!”
Regarding the disputed BuzzFeed story, the president tweeted: “Remember it was Buzzfeed that released the totally discredited ‘Dossier,’ paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats (as opposition research), on which the entire Russian probe is based! A very sad day for journalism, but a great day for our Country!”
“Fake News is truly the ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” he later added.
White House press briefings grew increasingly rare over the course of 2018. Sanders held two briefings in October, and one each in November and December, respectively. Trump appeared in the briefing room earlier this month but did not take questions from reporters.