Donald Trump has revealed he directed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to stop holding regular briefings, claiming she was treated too unfairly by the media.
“The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the ‘podium’ much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press,” the President tweeted. “I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway!”
The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the “podium” much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press. I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway! Most will never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019
The White House has faced criticism from media organisations over its lack of regular press briefings.
Ms Sanders is yet to hold a formal press briefing this year, with the last one taking place on December 18.
Mr Trump’s tweet came shortly after White House spokesman Hogan Gidley’s appearance on Fox News, in which he was asked why briefings had gradually tapered off last year.
Mr Gidley argued Mr Trump’s social media posts made regular briefings unnecessary.
“It’s not that they’ve ever stopped; it’s just that sometimes we need to come to the podium to communicate things and sometimes we don’t,” he said.
“A lot of the times when we don’t come to the podium it’s because the President has addressed the American people himself,” he said, adding that Ms Sanders would return to the podium “when she finds a reason to do that”.
“It’s kind of ridiculous. You can’t win for losing half the time,” he said. “But 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.”
This marks the longest time since a briefing has taken place. Last year, Ms Sanders held two briefings in October and just one each in November and December.