White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham still won’t guarantee the return of daily press briefings after 13 former press secretaries argued for them in an open-letter CNN opinion piece Sunday.
The letter published Sunday argues that “the process for preparing for regular briefings makes the government run better” because it “helps ensure that an administration speaks with one voice.”
The letter also argues that regular briefings “force a certain discipline on government decision making,” which, “put another way, no presidents want their briefers to say, day after day, we haven’t figured that one out yet.”
According to an Axios report, Grisham responded to the former secretaries’ letter by saying that “this is groupthink at its finest” and that despite how “the press has unprecedented access to President Trump,” “they continue to complain because they can’t grandstand on TV.”
“They’re not looking for information, they’re looking for a moment,” Grisham said, according to Axios. “This president is unorthodox in everything he’s done. He’s rewritten the rules of politics. His press secretary and everyone else in the administration is reflective of that.”
Grisham then proceeded to rail against the former press secretaries who signed the letter, saying that “they can publicly pile on all they want.”
“It’s unfortunate, because I’ve always felt I was in this small club of only 29 others who really know what I deal with each day, and that was always comforting,” Grisham said, according to Axios. “They may not say it publicly, but they all understand why I do things differently.”
Grisham added that the former press secretaries “know I have three roles” before defending the Trump administration’s decision to stop holding press briefings.
“They know my boss has probably spoken directly to the press more than all of theirs did combined,” Grisham said, according to Axios. “They know the press secretary briefs in the absence of the president, and this president is never absent — a fact that should be celebrated.”
Read the former press secretaries’ open-letter CNN opinion piece here.