White House: People made fun of Sarah Sanders, so we canceled press briefings


It's been 196 days since the White House press secretary held a press briefing.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham defended the effective cancellation of White House press briefings during a Monday appearance on "Fox & Friends."

Grisham said that Donald Trump ended the briefings because reporters "weren't being good to his people" and people often made fun of former press secretaries Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

"The briefings had become a lot of theater, and I think that a lot of reporters were doing it to get famous," Grisham said.

Grisham has not held a single press briefing since becoming the press secretary on July 1, a span of 84 days. The last on-camera White House press briefing was held on March 11, 196 days ago.

A month after that briefing, special counsel Robert Mueller's report revealed that then-press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted during the investigation to lying to the press.

"Sanders told the press after Comey's termination that the White House had heard from countless FBI agents who had lost confidence in Comey. But the evidence does not support those claims," Mueller's report stated. She told investigators she had fabricated the story "in the heat of the moment."

Sanders never held an on-camera briefing with the press after the report came out to address her own testimony or any other issue.

That comedians and the public made fun of Sanders and her predecessor, Sean Spicer, was also reason for the White House to cancel press briefings, according to Grisham, because that mockery offended Trump.

"He took it personal," co-host Brian Kilmeade said.

"Absolutely," Grisham agreed. "I think it's so important that 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 was not what was happening," Grisham added. "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."

Grisham's appearance followed an interview on Fox Business the day before, where she also did not face tough questioning. Her immediate predecessor, Sanders, often went to Fox News instead of facing legitimate media questions.

Without the press briefings, the media has been unable to ask the White House for its official response and position on a host of issues affecting Americans and the world.

While Trump can advance his message through impromptu press availabilities, there is no venue to ask about his multiple ongoing scandals, a possible recession, or military action in the Middle East.

Other presidents and press secretaries have also been subject to mockery from comedians and the public, but they still spoke to the press.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.