The White House’s daily guidance for Wednesday included an update that Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders would give an “off-camera” press briefing at 3:00PM.
This marks the third day in a row that the White House has gone dark with their press conferences. A point not missed by many.
For the third day in a row this week, the White House press briefing today will be off-camera.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 12, 2017
Why does this matter? It matters because answering questions on camera allows the public to see what’s going on. It’s part of a transparent government.
On Monday, the White House listed no events for President Trump, thereby disproving Sean Spicer’s argument that he can’t answer questions or won’t and the cameras are banned because he’s letting the President’s words carry the day.
The public has no way of hearing answers on policy, let alone the storm of Russia collusion swirling around Trump and his son, Donald Trump, Jr after reports surfaced that he, as campaign manager for his father, met last summer with a Kremlin lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Additionally, President Trump’s first meeting as president with Russian President Vladimir Putin didn’t go over very well, especially after Trump let Putin’s people float the idea that Putin simply told Trump that Russia didn’t interfere in the 2016 election… and Trump believed him.
The White House is doing dark as the Russia scandal picks up steam. But they were also doing versions of this before the latest Russia storm – it’s just much worse now. This White House is not interested in relaying information to the public. More and more they are trying to emulate Putin’s treatment of the press, which is to say the treatment of a dictator, not the president of a free country.
Trump and Putin even colluded against the free press during their first meeting, with Putin gesturing at the journalists being ushered out of the room, asking Trump, “These are the ones that insulted you?”
This might seem like nothing but it’s the opposite. It’s the slow shuttering of transparency, which is the bedrock of democracy, coupled with the open demonizing of the press in order to keep the Trump base enmeshed in the cult-like atmosphere of believing no one but Trump himself.
This White House is in full bunker mode, so afraid of the growing Russia storm that they are simply hiding from the public.
The questions surrounding Trump’s possible collusion with Russia won’t end until the facts have been fully investigated.
Donald Trump is hiding under the virtual covers, only surfacing to tweet or issue propaganda from his bunker when it serves his purposes. This behavior doesn’t scream “innocence”; it only exacerbates the perception that he is hiding something.
The Trump administration should be the first people calling for a real investigation into Russia’s interference in our election and into their own campaign and administration’s possible collusion with Russia. Wouldn’t someone who won the election fair and square want to make sure Russia couldn’t interfere again?
What if Trump doesn’t manage to appease Putin and Putin turns on him. What then.