BREAKING NEWS : Police in standoff with alleged armed suspect on South Wayne Avenue Full Story

The disappearing White House press briefings explained

The daily White House press briefing is no longer routine. In fact, reporters can't even count on one weekly...

Posted: Sep 22, 2018 8:13 AM
Updated: Sep 22, 2018 8:13 AM

The daily White House press briefing is no longer routine. In fact, reporters can't even count on one weekly anymore. So far this month, there has only been one press briefing in total.

But communication between the President and the press has nonetheless continued, whether it's in the form of tweets, or impromptu news conferences on the White House lawn.

"This president's been awfully available," Olivier Knox, president of the White House Correspondents' Association told CNN's Brian Stelter for this week's Reliable Sources podcast. "And that reflects in part the fact that he has really been his own communications director."

That's not to say that press briefings no longer have value.

Press briefings are particularly important for smaller news outlets that do not typically get a lot of attention from the White House staff, as well as reporters who aren't covering the top story of the day, Knox said.

It is the White House Correspondents' Association's job to ensure that journalists have access to the White House. Knox said organization members have voiced concern about the decrease in press briefings, and he has brought these concerns to the attention of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

"She's heard us out," Knox said, in response to Stelter asking why the association hasn't expressed more frustration on the issue. But projecting rage over the situation is not Knox's preferred route. "I don't think that the screaming really has a lot of value in that relationship. I would prefer to try to work productively through this" he said.

Listen to the whole podcast here:

The daily briefings have all but stopped under Trump, but Knox said they have had "ebbs and flows over time" in previous presidencies.

"I remember times when, you know, Obama would recede and we would pepper Jay Carney with questions about when he would next [take questions from the press]," he said. Carney served as former president Barack Obama's press secretary from 2011 to 2014.

There's something that concerns Knox more than the diminishing frequency of press briefings under the Trump administration.

"One of the things that this administration has done is claw back a lot of government information that was public in the Obama, Bush and even the Clinton years," he said.

He cited the War Powers Act as an example -- a law that requires a public letter be submitted to Congress by the President every six months, "laying out where American troops are in harm's way and how many of them are in harm's way." The current administration has eliminated the head count of Americans in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq from the letter, Knox said.

"When you pull that kind of information out of the public eye, you're making the job of holding the federal government accountable more difficult," he said.

Last year, Olivier wrote about this issue, and said he was able to figure out how many American troops were in those specific places by going through Pentagon briefings and Pentagon documents.

With Pentagon briefings notably on the decline, it would make research like Knox's even more challenging. And the wars abroad are an issue he believes needs more spotlight.

"It's amazing how little scrutiny it's getting," he said. "Donald Trump inherited a lot of military conflicts. He's expanded a lot of them as well. And we can't forget this. We can't."

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
Wabash345877
Jasper344846
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
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 36°
Angola
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 35°
Huntington
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 36°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 36°
Lima
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 37°
There will be more clouds around than sunshine for most of the day and highs will top out in the upper 40s.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events