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Trump:Don't Bother With Daily Briefing 01/23 06:23

   NEW YORK (AP) -- President Donald Trump says he directed White House Press 
Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders not to bother with the traditional daily 
briefing of reporters.

   The last briefing took place on Dec. 18.

   In a tweet on Tuesday, the president said the press covers Sanders "so 
rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press.

   "I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway!" he tweeted. "Most will 
never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake News!"

   The afternoon briefing has been a staple of cable news schedules during the 
past few administrations and the sight of Sanders' predecessor Sean Spicer at 
the podium was an enduring image of the early days of Trump's tenure.

   The White House Correspondents Association called the decision a retreat 
from transparency and accountability that sets a terrible precedent.

   "Being able to question the press secretary or other senior government 
officials publicly helps the news media tell Americans what their most powerful 
representatives are doing in their name," said Olivier Knox, president of the 
White House Correspondents Association.

   Trump's preferred mode of communication, besides social media, is interviews 
on Fox News and informal question-and-answer sessions with reporters. Sanders 
has said it makes more sense for the public to hear from the president himself.

   Counting interviews, short question-and-answer sessions and formal news 
conferences, Trump is second only the President Bill Clinton in accessibility 
during the first two years of his presidency, going back to President Ronald 
Reagan, a study has found.

   Through Jan. 10, Trump has had 577 media availabilities since he's been 
president, according to Martha Kumar, a Towson State University professor and 
expert on White House Communications. Clinton had 610 in his first two year; 
Barack Obama had 396, Kumar said.

   Defenders of the briefings say they generally give reporters the opportunity 
to set the agenda, and also to learn about what an administration is doing 
below the presidential level.


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