White House press secretary Sean Spicer will hold an on-camera briefing with reporters on Tuesday, for the first time in more than a week.
The White House press corps has grown frustrated by the restrictions the administration has imposed on the press briefings. Reporters have often been told the proceedings, which have traditionally been carried live, cannot be filmed or broadcast with audio.
Spicer’s appearance at the podium also comes amid swirling speculation that the White House is seeking his replacement.
Spicer is not expected to be fired, but could be moved into a dual role of communications director and occasional spokesman, something he did as chief strategist for the Republican National Committee under former chairman Reince Priebus, who is now Trump’s chief of staff.
Watch the briefing live in the video above and follow all of the action here.
2:22 p.m. Total length of Spicer’s first on-camera briefing in eight days: 30 minutes, 39 seconds.
2:21 p.m. In his final answer of the day, Spicer concludes the press conference by saying he expects Trump to announce this week whether he secretly recorded conversations with former FBI director James Comey.
2:20 p.m. Spicer ignores a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta, who blasted the press secretary as “useless” a day before.
2:19 p.m. Spicer would not say whether Trump agrees with the unanimous conclusion of the intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
“I have not sat down and talked to him about that specifically,” he said.
2:16 p.m. For the second day in a row, Spicer was asked if President Trump has seen a draft of the Senate healthcare bill. And for the second time, he didn’t have an answer.
“I don’t know that,” the spokesman said when asked by The Hill, adding that Trump is “very excited about where this thing is headed.” Spicer said White House staff is “working hand in glove” with Senate GOP leaders on the measure.
2:14 p.m. A reporter asks Spicer if Trump believes the Obama administration could have done more to save Otto Warmbier, the American student who died after being detained in North Korea.
“The president believes that had it happened sooner or quicker, potentially there may have been additional medical resources that could have been provided,” Spicer said. “He’s saddened by this entire situation, and would have hoped that it could have been resolved earlier.”
2:04 p.m. Spicer defends the administration’s moves to hold fewer on-camera press briefings, which has been the source of enormous frustration for the White House press corps. A reporter asked Spicer about the “unrest” it has caused among national political reporters.
“We’re going to do what we can to communicate our message, we have tremendous respect for the First Amendment and your ability to do your job and report and seek out ideas,” Spicer replied. “We’ll work with you. I think the briefing is one aspect of what we do. We’re here really early in the morning and really late at night available to all your questions, whether in person or over email. This is one avenue to do that. We’ve opened up Skype questions to bring more people in, but we’ve done multiple or more opportunities to give you access to the president.”
“While you guys will always advocate for more transparency and access, I think we’ve done a very good job of not just providing opportunities here at the daily briefing, but also making ourselves available as a staff almost 24 hours a day,” Spicer added.
2:01 p.m. Spicer is asked about his future.
“I’m right here. You can keep taking your selfies.”
But Spicer acknowledged changes might be afoot.
“But look, it’s no secret we’ve had a couple of vacancies including our communications director … We’ve been seeking input from people as far as what ideas they might have, we’ve been meeting with potential people that may be of service to this administration … we’re always looking for ways to do a better job of articulating the president’s agenda and we’ll continue to have those discussions internally and when we have an announcement of a personnel nature, we’ll let you know.”
Spicer grinned throughout his answer.
1:59 p.m. Spicer looks to tamp down the importance of the special election in Georgia on Tuesday night, which is viewed by many as a referendum on the Trump presidency. The Republican and Democrat are running neck and neck in the traditionally red district.
“I think if you look historically, special elections generally don’t foretell the outcome of races multiple years down the road. This is a race that the president — or a district that the president won by one point. It’s obviously going to be competitive.”
1:57 p.m. “The president clearly wants a healthcare bill that has heart in in,” Spicer said.
It is the first time the White House has conceded that the president has serious issues with the GOP healthcare bill. The White House has refused to confirm reports that Trump called the bill “mean.”
1:55 p.m. After a question from Katie Pavlich from the conservative website Townhall, Spicer calls on Steve Holland of Reuters and takes a hardline on Russia. Trump met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday.
“Part of the reason that there are sanctions is because until they are out of eastern Ukraine, we’re going to continue to have sanctions on Russia,” Spicer said.
1:53 p.m. A 3 minute, 42 second opening statement from Spicer on the need to repeal ObamaCare, GOP efforts at tax reform and White House technology week. It’s a short intro before Spicer goes to questions.
1:51 p.m. Usually Spicer goes on with senior aides like Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Sanders and Omorosa Manigault watching in the wings. Today, he is flanked by a cadre of junior aides.
— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) June 20, 2017
1: 45 p.m. The White House has given the two-minute warning. Spicer will be out shortly. Expect him to get asked about the American student who died after being detained in North Korea, increasing tension with Russia over U.S. involvement in Syria, the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, as well as his own future behind the podium.
Powered by WPeMatico