Sound Off! Why the White House is Limiting Press Briefings By Luke Perry
There are several possible reasons for the Trump administration's recent efforts to curtail the White House press briefing. The president and much of his senior staff lack White House experience so they are not informed or concerned about historical norms. On top of this, the president has not demonstrated an interest in prioritizing democracy as a central value to his leadership, governance, or foreign policy.
To the contrary, Trump has displayed atypical public hostility to the press, even identifying the news media as an enemy of the American people. Interestingly, this harsh rhetoric is coupled with regular access to him and top advisors, who leak like no other modern administration, albeit in an unpredictable and fluid manner.
The Russia investigation is a major consideration as well. Trump watches more TV than his predecessors, particularly cable news talk shows, most of which are regularly critical of him and his presidency. This is a source of great anger that manifests itself in attacks on the press via Twitter (which Trump has revolutionized in regards to presidential politics) and greater reluctance to expose himself to facing scrutiny. Unlike most presidents, who believe this is all part of the job, Trump either doesn't see it that way or doesn't care.
Luke Perry (@PolSciLukePerry) is Professor of Government at Utica College. His column Sound Off! critiques various aspects of presidential politics.