Tags: jim himes | press conference | white house | televised

Himes Pushing for On-Camera Press Briefings to Resume

(MSNBC)

By    |   Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 03:03 PM

The White House should offer two televised press briefings a week, rather than holding them with all cameras off and refusing to release details of the reporters' questions or statements until after the meetings conclude, Rep. Jim Himes, who is pushing for legislation to force open briefings, said Tuesday.

"Fundamentally the American people have a right to know what their elected officials believe," the Connecticut Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "It is an obligation of our job to go back to the people who elected us, to tell them what we're doing, and yes, to take tough questions from the press."

The White House banned the live press briefings last month, with Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders handling reporters' questions in most cases rather than Press Secretary Sean Spicer, but Himes said it's important to allow viewers to see the White House officials answering questions.

"I'm no psychologist or anything, but psychologists will tell you when humans communicate, half or so of the communication is actually in the nonverbal cues," Himes said. "'Am I rolling my eyes? Do I have a smile on my face? Do I look angry?'"

Transcripts will "get you 70 percent of the way there," but they do not satisfy the needs of a robust democracy, said Himes.

"The reality is look, if you're not willing to subject yourself to the scrutiny of your constituents before town hall meetings, if you can't stand up and defend yourself by facts and persuasion, maybe you need to find another line of work," Himes said.

"That's not a hit on people who won't do those things. It's essential to our system. The media, as annoying as they may be, but sometimes it's really important that the media hold people like me and the president accountable and ask us tough questions."

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The White House should offer two televised press briefings a week, rather than holding them with all cameras off and refusing to release details of the reporters' questions or statements until after the meetings conclude, Rep. Jim Himes, who is pushing for legislation to...
jim himes, press conference, white house, televised
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2017-03-18
Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 03:03 PM
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