- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 22, 2019

President Trump blamed the media Tuesday as the reason the White House rarely holds press briefings.

Mr. Trump said he told press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders “not to bother” with conducting press briefings because he believes the press will be biased and covers her “rudely.”

Hogan Gidley, the deputy press secretary, addressed the lack of press briefings on Fox News earlier Tuesday morning.

“She’s [Sarah Sanders] going to come back when she finds a reason to,” he said on “America’s Newsroom.”

Mr. Gidley explained that the White House “can’t win” when it comes to unfair criticism about access because critics say there isn’t enough access to the president or to Mrs. Sanders.

Despite his tense relationship with the press, data recently released by the White House Correspondents Association showed Mr. Trump is the second most accessible president, right behind former President Bill Clinton.

However, the WHCA President Olivier Knox criticized the lack of press briefings and said the Trump administration is setting 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,” Mr. Knox said in a statement. “While other avenues exist to obtain information, the robust, public back-and-forth we’ve come to expect in the James A. Brady briefing room helps highlight that no one in a healthy republic is above being questioned.”

“The fact is, when the president isn’t going up we have a conversation about the message we deliver, and Sarah Sanders will absolutely be back at the podium talking to the press and delivering the message to the American people,” Mr. Gidley said.

The last press briefing held by Mrs. Sanders was on Dec. 18, more than a month ago.

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