In Tweets, President Undermines the Credibility of White House Press Briefings

President Donald Trump was back on Twitter on Friday morning, where he addressed the issue of misinformation coming out of his White House. The latest example of this has to do with the decision-making process that went into the firing of now-former FBI Director James Comey.

Prior to Thursday, White House staff, including Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, had been informing the press that the president fired Comey after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recommended the termination to President Trump.

However, in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Trump contradicted that information, saying that he was going to fire Comey regardless of Rosenstein’s recommendation.

This revelation from the president has already jeopardized the credibility of the White House daily press briefings. On Friday, the president’s tweets appear to double down on this narrative.

With the president’s confirmation that not everything coming out of the White House press briefings could be perfectly accurate, it throws all information coming from the press secretary’s podium into question.

The president continued his train of thought with another tweet in which he suggests canceling the briefing altogether:

This suggestion from the president will likely not be accepted well by advocates of the First Amendment. The White House press briefings allow reporters to ask administration officials direct questions and then to follow up those questions in order to cut through the spin and report the facts to the American people.

While it is unlikely at this time that the White House would actually go through with canceling the press briefings, Trump’s tweets do little to help assure the American people that a free and independent press will be able to work on their behalf to hold the president’s administration accountable.

For the administration’s part, it has already altered some of the processes of the daily press briefings, including taking questions from remote journalists located outside of Washington, D.C.

What do you think?

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