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The disappearing White House press briefing

Today is the last, the 31st, day of July.In that time, there have been three White House "daily" briefings by ...

Posted: Aug 1, 2018 10:49 AM
Updated: Aug 1, 2018 10:50 AM

Today is the last, the 31st, day of July.

In that time, there have been three White House "daily" briefings by press secretary Sarah Sanders, according to CNN's invaluable Allie Malloy. That's less than one "daily" briefing every 10 days. (Related note: I was awarded the Fields medal in mathematics last year.)

That trio of briefings lasted a total of 58 minutes, again according to Malloy. Let me repeat that: The sum total of White House "daily" press briefings in July 2018 is 58 minutes. Less than one total hour. In a month. (Again, I won the Fields medal so you can trust me on this.)

How does that compare to past presidential administrations in July of their second year in office? Again, Malloy's research to the rescue! The three briefings the Trump White House held in July 2018 is one-quarter the number (12) the Obama administration held in July 2010. George W. Bush's administration held nine press briefings in July 2006, while the Clinton administration held six press briefings in July 1994.

(Nota bene: Trump does talk to the press -- particularly in impromptu moments -- more than past presidents.)

It's no secret that Trump himself is no fan of the daily press briefing. A year and two weeks ago -- to the day! -- I wrote a piece headlined: "The White House is trying to kill the daily press briefing." As I wrote at the time:

"What the White House is doing is working to kill off the daily press briefing -- a ritual that has long functioned as the best (and often only) way for reporters to get the White House on record and on video about various issues affecting the country and the world. ... And even in the increasingly common off-camera briefings -- which were a very occasional occurrence in past White Houses -- Sanders and White House press secretary Sean Spicer appear to be working hard to be, at best, unhelpful and, at worst, openly misleading."

Why doesn't Trump like the briefing? Because he believes he is the best messenger the administration has -- and that when any voice but his own (or sometimes Rudy Giuliani's) is out talking, the administration is competing against itself unnecessarily.

The Point: Trump's presidency has brought lots and lots (and lots) of changes to the White House and official Washington. Don't overlook how much Trump has already changed the daily press briefing.

Read Tuesday's full edition of The Point newsletter, and sign up to get future editions delivered to your inbox.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 701971

Reported Deaths: 13187
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion958051716
Lake51105939
Allen38867670
Hamilton34212404
St. Joseph33638539
Elkhart27021431
Vanderburgh22016393
Tippecanoe21602212
Johnson17408373
Porter17157297
Hendricks16711310
Clark12640190
Madison12287337
Vigo12139244
Monroe11336166
LaPorte10760204
Delaware10288184
Howard9606211
Kosciusko9051113
Hancock7922139
Bartholomew7839153
Warrick7671155
Floyd7533176
Wayne6871198
Grant6755168
Boone6517100
Morgan6362138
Dubois6068117
Marshall5743108
Dearborn566975
Cass5668102
Henry5558100
Noble536983
Jackson491869
Shelby476895
Lawrence4324118
Gibson426889
Harrison426070
Montgomery416286
Clinton415053
DeKalb405483
Huntington376480
Whitley374939
Miami371365
Knox364889
Steuben361357
Putnam351760
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Adams337652
Ripley333268
Jefferson310779
White307154
Daviess288699
Wells284780
Decatur278592
Fayette276962
Greene269985
Posey268133
Scott259853
Clay252044
LaGrange250970
Randolph234380
Washington230329
Spencer227431
Jennings224447
Fountain207445
Sullivan207342
Starke201152
Owen191456
Fulton190439
Jay185529
Carroll185220
Perry179136
Orange176253
Rush170224
Vermillion165643
Franklin165135
Tipton160843
Parke143716
Blackford132631
Pike130034
Pulaski112945
Newton102834
Brown99340
Crawford96914
Benton95613
Martin82215
Warren78715
Switzerland7698
Union69510
Ohio55511
Unassigned0405

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1045945

Reported Deaths: 18917
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1214131352
Cuyahoga1060882061
Hamilton778281165
Montgomery49815988
Summit45000907
Lucas39675760
Butler37582568
Stark31296894
Lorain24038472
Warren23805291
Mahoning20777583
Lake19885362
Clermont19387228
Delaware17933130
Licking16066206
Fairfield15618196
Trumbull15500459
Medina14787259
Greene14593236
Clark13542288
Wood12664184
Portage12277194
Allen11281229
Richland11001198
Miami10500212
Muskingum8676127
Wayne8523209
Columbiana8515226
Pickaway8414120
Tuscarawas8347239
Marion8342135
Erie7509153
Ross6687145
Hancock6666123
Geauga6520146
Ashtabula6436164
Scioto6271100
Belmont5578158
Union555147
Lawrence5454102
Jefferson5271147
Huron5265113
Darke5256121
Sandusky5158119
Seneca5084118
Washington5056107
Athens497454
Auglaize473984
Mercer470084
Shelby454689
Knox4363108
Madison420458
Putnam419398
Ashland411586
Fulton406266
Defiance399496
Brown384855
Crawford3848100
Logan371976
Preble369298
Clinton359359
Ottawa354278
Highland345759
Williams321674
Champaign317856
Jackson306151
Guernsey305348
Perry289249
Fayette276748
Morrow274139
Henry262866
Hardin262663
Coshocton257857
Holmes252399
Van Wert238562
Gallia232946
Pike232331
Adams227152
Wyandot225553
Hocking208458
Carroll188547
Paulding168238
Meigs141138
Noble132537
Monroe128741
Morgan106423
Harrison104936
Vinton81314
Unassigned02
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