March 11 was the day then-press secretary Sarah Sanders held the last official press briefing at the White House.
210 days later, the administration recently sent out signals to correspondents who cover it the famed daily proceedings will not resume for the rest of President Donald Trump's term.
"They're just not going to do it anymore — period," said one veteran White House correspondent who had spoken to the White House Press Office about resuming the news briefings that began under Franklin D. Roosevelt's press secretary Steve Early in 1933.
The latest word from the White House dashes the hopes of those who cover the president. Almost to a person, White House correspondents believe this briefing is the most effective way of eliciting official responses from the administration, in part because it also permits follow-up questions.
When Sanders resigned in July, Newsmax asked whether the briefings would start up under her successor Stephanie Grisham. A top White House official replied: "We're considering it."
But the much hoped-for resumption of the briefings never occurred and their return at the little-used James Brady Briefing Room is now considered out of the question.
Grisham, in fact, has not only never held a briefing but rarely appeared on any cable news shows. As one White House correspondent put it, "Stephanie follows her boss' orders."
It is widely assumed the president himself nixed the press briefings himself, reportedly disliking the sometimes contentious exchanges between Sanders and several reporters whom he considers hostile. Instead, he prefers his brief scrums with reporters before boarding the Marine One helicopter.
Reporters almost universally loathe these "helicopter press conferences." With engines beating, it is often difficult to hear the president's responses and there are rarely any follow-up questions.
"He'd rather shout at reporters before boarding Marine One, which is a disaster every time," said liberal radio talk show host Bill Press, a White House correspondent. "And as long as Donald Trump is in the White House, there will never be another one."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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