The disappearing White House press briefing

Today is the last, the 31st, day of July.In that time, there have been three White House "daily" briefings by ...

Posted: Aug 1, 2018 9:49 AM
Updated: Aug 1, 2018 9:50 AM

Today is the last, the 31st, day of July.

In that time, there have been three White House "daily" briefings by press secretary Sarah Sanders, according to CNN's invaluable Allie Malloy. That's less than one "daily" briefing every 10 days. (Related note: I was awarded the Fields medal in mathematics last year.)

That trio of briefings lasted a total of 58 minutes, again according to Malloy. Let me repeat that: The sum total of White House "daily" press briefings in July 2018 is 58 minutes. Less than one total hour. In a month. (Again, I won the Fields medal so you can trust me on this.)

How does that compare to past presidential administrations in July of their second year in office? Again, Malloy's research to the rescue! The three briefings the Trump White House held in July 2018 is one-quarter the number (12) the Obama administration held in July 2010. George W. Bush's administration held nine press briefings in July 2006, while the Clinton administration held six press briefings in July 1994.

(Nota bene: Trump does talk to the press -- particularly in impromptu moments -- more than past presidents.)

It's no secret that Trump himself is no fan of the daily press briefing. A year and two weeks ago -- to the day! -- I wrote a piece headlined: "The White House is trying to kill the daily press briefing." As I wrote at the time:

"What the White House is doing is working to kill off the daily press briefing -- a ritual that has long functioned as the best (and often only) way for reporters to get the White House on record and on video about various issues affecting the country and the world. ... And even in the increasingly common off-camera briefings -- which were a very occasional occurrence in past White Houses -- Sanders and White House press secretary Sean Spicer appear to be working hard to be, at best, unhelpful and, at worst, openly misleading."

Why doesn't Trump like the briefing? Because he believes he is the best messenger the administration has -- and that when any voice but his own (or sometimes Rudy Giuliani's) is out talking, the administration is competing against itself unnecessarily.

The Point: Trump's presidency has brought lots and lots (and lots) of changes to the White House and official Washington. Don't overlook how much Trump has already changed the daily press briefing.

Read Tuesday's full edition of The Point newsletter, and sign up to get future editions delivered to your inbox.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112123

Reported Deaths: 3223
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7796173
DeSoto670178
Harrison484483
Jackson435081
Rankin383786
Madison373993
Lee344979
Forrest296377
Jones283782
Washington252197
Lafayette242642
Lauderdale2376131
Lamar217138
Bolivar198377
Oktibbeha195854
Neshoba1814111
Lowndes174962
Panola166337
Leflore160787
Sunflower157649
Warren152755
Monroe145972
Pontotoc143819
Pike137256
Lincoln135555
Copiah135036
Marshall134826
Scott123829
Coahoma123436
Grenada120038
Yazoo119333
Simpson118649
Union115225
Holmes113560
Leake113340
Tate113239
Itawamba110424
Pearl River108958
Adams104343
Prentiss102619
Wayne98721
Alcorn96012
George93917
Marion92942
Covington92525
Tippah85921
Newton84427
Chickasaw82625
Winston82221
Tallahatchie81825
Tishomingo79341
Hancock78127
Attala77626
Clarke72349
Clay67621
Jasper67417
Walthall63327
Calhoun61412
Noxubee59617
Smith58316
Claiborne53216
Montgomery52923
Tunica52217
Lawrence49914
Yalobusha49314
Perry48122
Carroll46312
Greene45518
Stone45014
Amite41713
Quitman4146
Humphreys41216
Jefferson Davis39811
Webster36613
Wilkinson33020
Kemper32015
Benton3154
Sharkey27814
Jefferson27010
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22563372
Mobile14335314
Tuscaloosa10023133
Montgomery9759196
Madison904893
Shelby709960
Lee644966
Baldwin640569
Marshall428248
Calhoun412759
Etowah405749
Morgan396833
Houston364632
DeKalb319628
Elmore310752
St. Clair282142
Limestone270828
Walker268892
Talladega258435
Cullman227623
Lauderdale208740
Autauga201029
Jackson200915
Franklin199731
Colbert192228
Russell19053
Dallas185627
Blount184824
Chilton181731
Escambia171328
Coffee16669
Covington166029
Dale163451
Pike130512
Chambers130143
Tallapoosa128686
Clarke127117
Marion104729
Butler99840
Barbour9889
Marengo97221
Winston90413
Geneva8417
Pickens80517
Lawrence80031
Randolph79814
Bibb79114
Hale74529
Cherokee72214
Clay71912
Lowndes70127
Henry6376
Bullock63517
Monroe6319
Washington62212
Crenshaw59330
Perry5806
Wilcox55912
Conecuh55713
Fayette55312
Cleburne5287
Macon52820
Sumter46721
Lamar4565
Choctaw38712
Greene33916
Coosa1973
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