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Trump Doubles Down on Suggestion to Cancel Press Briefings

Variety logo Variety 5/12/2017 Ted Johnson
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President Donald Trump told Jeanine Pirro that he thinks it is a “good idea” to not have press conferences, unless he does them himself every two weeks.

His comments came after he tweeted early Friday morning that perhaps the White House should do away with the daily press briefings, a long-time tradition in which the press secretary faces the gamut of reporters every day. Trump was frustrated over media reports that what he has said about the reasons for firing FBI Director James Comey contradicts what his communications staff said earlier in the week.

“Are you moving so quickly that your communications department cannot keep up with you?” Pirro asked Trump, in an interview for her Fox News show “Justice With Judge Jeanine.”

“Yes, that’s true,” Trump said.

“So what do we do about that?” Pirro asked.

“We do not have press conferences, and we do…”

“You don’t mean that,” Pirro interjected.

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“Well, just don’t have them, unless I have them every two weeks and I do them myself, we don’t have them,” Trump said. “I think it’s a good idea. First of all, you have a level of hostility that’s incredible and it’s very unfair. Sarah Huckabee is a lovely, young woman. You know Sean Spicer, he is a wonderful human being, he’s a nice man.”

The interview will air on Saturday, but the news network released excerpts on Friday.

Pirro pressed him on whether Spicer will “be there tomorrow,” a reference to reports that Trump is looking to replace him. Trump did not answer directly, but said Spicer has been “doing a good job, but he gets beat up.”

“He’s getting beat up. No, he just gets beat up by these people, and again you know they don’t show the 90 questions that they asked and answered properly. I’m saying if they’re off just a little bit, just a little bit, it’s the big story.”

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