“Gaggles.” Yes, the Trump White House wants to use “gaggles,” not-for-broadcast question & answer sessions, instead of on-camera briefings. Why wouldn’t they?
The White House Correspondents’ Association has met with Trump administration officials to take issue with the current state of briefings at the White House, according to a note sent to the association’s members this morning from its president, Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason.
Over the last several months, the relationship between the press and the White House has curdled as the Trump administration has curtailed press briefings and held fewer on-the-record sessions. This week, CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta questioned the wisdom of attending the briefings at all, saying the White House was “stonewalling” journalists.
Spicer and Sanders agreed to “consider” steps advocated by the White House Correspondents’ Association to make briefings more open, according to Mason, including not replacing “on-camera briefings with ‘gaggles,’ not-for-broadcast question & answer sessions.”
“Though they are useful and can play an important role in informing the press and the public, gaggles are not a substitute for the open back-and-forth between reporters and administration officials that regular televised briefings allow,” Mason wrote.
The Correspondents’ Association is “not satisfied with the current state-of-play,” and will work to change it, he wrote.
“In the meantime, I have asked that reporters be able to use audio from all gaggles going forward. We will keep you posted as developments occur.”