CNN Reporter: White House Doesn’t Want Its ‘Evasive Answers’ On Tape

CNN’s senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta on Monday said the White House is barring recording equipment from its daily press briefings so that its “evasive answers” to reporters’ questions will not be documented on tape.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s daily briefing on Monday was off-camera, with no broadcast or audio recording allowed. Acosta tweeted updates from the briefing, as well as some commentary of his own.

Speaking to “CNN Newsroom” anchor Brooke Baldwin after the briefing, Acosta said covering briefings under President Donald Trump’s administration is like “covering bad reality television.”

“The White House is refusing to answer those questions on camera or in any kind of fashion where we can record the audio,” Acosta said. “My guess is because they want their evasive answers not saved for posterity.”

He speculated that the White House may think its responses to reporters’ questions are more palatable when not recorded.

“That is the only conclusion one could draw,” Acosta said. “That when they give us answers, that it somehow reads better in print than it could be seen on television or heard over the radio.”

“Maybe I’m old-fashioned,” he added, “but I think that the White House for the United States of America should have these questions answered on camera so we can see what they’re saying.”

With regard to Spicer’s own penchant for evasive answers, Acosta added: “The White House press secretary is getting to a point, Brooke, where he is just kind of useless.”

He accused the White House of “stonewalling” reporters.

“If he can’t come out and answer the questions, and they’re just not going to do this on camera or audio, why are we even having these briefings or these gaggles in the first place?” Acosta asked. “It’s bizarre. I don’t know what world we’re living in right now.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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