The very purpose of a press briefing from the White House is to inform the press corps of any current news and to take questions from them — so that the media can in turn report those answers to the public. Briefings are not traditionally used to simply deliver statements.
Perhaps, then, the tradition changes when the Press Secretary announces a briefing just 3 minutes before it’s scheduled to begin.
Well-oiled machine. pic.twitter.com/EaMB8DNZh7
— @DukeStJournal (@DukeStJournal) January 3, 2019
But no sooner had we been told that there would be a briefing, we found out that the President himself would be there which is rare indeed — since, again, press briefings are for questions and Donald Trump pretty famously hates answering questions from the press. But as many people suspect, this was a perfect opportunity to steal some limelight from Nancy Pelosi as she was being elevated to the Speaker position today, and Trump hates seeing women in power.
It turned out it was almost nothing like a press briefing, except in that Sarah Sanders took the microphone first to address the press. After initial pleasantries, Trump introduced a cadre of all-inexplicably-bald ICE and Border Patrol agents, who each gave a sort of testimony about why America “needs” a wall on the southern border — with one of them at one point asking the gathered reporters, “If I come to your house, would you rather I knock on the front door or climb through the window?”
ICE is perhaps the most historically unpopular government agency of all time, of course, and so naturally, the agency that gets the most support from Donald Trump, since their “mission” aligns with Trump’s eventual vision of the United States: The removal of brown people from this country.
After they spoke, Trump took the microphone once again, this time to congratulate himself on having attended a press briefing specifically in service of immigration authorities.
But that’s not quite where the whole thing ended. Trump apparently thought he could just come evangelize for the wall and use a press briefing the same way he might use a rally: As an opportunity to spread his own message — his own propaganda.
That is NOT what the press was expecting, and they let him know.
Trump walks away without taking questions as a reporter yells to him, “the point of the briefing room is to take questions!” pic.twitter.com/J6CcEINrim
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 3, 2019
Featured image via screen capture