June 24, 2017

White House discussing moving Spicer to senior communications role

20 June 2017, 01:04 | Clarence Schmidt

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Spicer would likely hand off duties for the daily briefings, but continue to manage the communications and press office, according to the network.

"I've said it since the beginning - the president spoke today, he was on camera", Spicer said.

The drama comes after weeks of rumors that Trump planned to shrink Spicer's public role after the president's first foreign trip overseas.

Maybe the White House is headed down the same path as the State Department, which held: zero briefings in January, zero in February, 10 in March (four off-camera), six in April (two off-camera), zero in May, and four in June, so far.

In response to networks like CNN that chose to broadcast audio of the briefing, even without a visual to accompany, the White House barred attendees from doing that, too.

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer didn't take questions from Politico or The Washington Post during the briefing, an unusual decision that was also flagged by reporters. Monday's briefing - the White House termed it a "gaggle", a more informal set-up, though it took place in a format much like a briefing - was likewise off-camera, with audio broadcasting forbidden. "If they can't give us the answers to the questions on camera or where we can record the audio, they are basically pointless at this point". "Sean is indispensable and I think the president knows that".

The White House has been looking at ways to improve on this front.

As first reported by Politico and corroborated by Fox News, Spicer will soon stop giving the briefings. "He'll make another comment today at the technology summit".

While the president would still like Spicer to do briefings from time to time, Spicer's preference is to work exclusively behind the scenes. "It's also useful for reporters because reporters can let the White House know what issues are going to be coming up and how people are interpreting what it is they're doing". "So, from that vantage point, it's very useful for the president and for his White House staff".

"We have sought input from many people as we look to expand our communications operation", White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

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