WH Press Sec Stephanie Grisham Dismisses Daily Briefings, Fame-Hungry Reporters

Acting White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham waits as Air Force One is refuelled at Elmendorf Air Force Base while travelling to Japan June 26, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Monday said that she is unlikely to bring back daily press briefings in the near future and derided the news conferences as political “theater” used by reporters to “get famous.”

“Not right now,” Grisham said in a wide-ranging interview with Fox & Friends, when asked if the briefings will return to its previous schedule during her tenure as White House press secretary.

“I mean, 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 have become a lot of theater,” she explained. “And I think that a lot of reporters were doing it to get famous. I mean, yeah, they’re writing books now. I mean, they’re all getting famous off of this presidency. And so I think it’s great what we’re doing now.”

While many White House reporters have sought to boost their personal profiles in the Trump era, no example is more apparent than CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, whose frequent outbursts toward the president and members of his administration have earned him scorn and mockery from the White House and even from some of his establishment media colleagues. He even wrote in his book — Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America — that his abrasive demeanor towards President Trump and other administration officials “bothers some people” and he is guilty of  “showboating,” even “grandstanding.” Last November, the CNN reporter had his White House press credential temporarily suspended over a heated exchange with President Trump.

Later in her interview with Fox News, Grisham went on to praise President Trump as “his own best spokesperson” and the “most accessible president in history, as all of the media knows.” The president’s frequent gaggles with the White House press corps has been a fixture of his presidency and something his predecessors often avoided.

“I think that it’s so important that, you know, the spokesperson for the president can adequately speak to his policies and get his message out there, and I think the president saw that that’s not what was happening,” Grisham continued. “It had become, again, theater, and they weren’t being good to his people. And he doesn’t like that. He’s very loyal to his people and he put a stop to it.”

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