CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta, during a live report on Monday, said that there is now a new normal at the White House and he is clearly not liking it; referring to the way the new administration is now conducting business and with the way officials are answering the press’ questions.
Elaborating on his point, Acosta criticized Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary for apparently “getting to the point where he’s just kind of useless.”
Acosta’s remarks come following the White House communications team ban on recording press briefings on camera. This Monday, Spicer announced that reporters will not even be allowed to record any audio clips of the briefings.
Instead, reporters were calling into the briefing room to ask questions, with no way for them to prove what was actually being asked and said.
However, the White House has apparently decided to upload its own videos of the press briefings to its official YouTube channel, the last of which was uploaded on June 12. Also, the White House has started releasing its own transcripts of the press briefings and Q&A sessions, since reporters aren’t allowed to record anything anymore.
Talking to CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin, Acosta spoke about the issue in detail.
“If he can’t come out and answer the questions and they’re just not going to do this on camera or audio, why are even having these briefings or these gaggles in the first place?” Acosta asked.
Baldwin then suggested that maybe press secretary Spice “just simply doesn’t know” what President Trump’s take on the issue is. Baldwin, assuming that was indeed what was happening at the White House, inquired, “Why isn’t he having those conversations with the president?”
“It’s a really good question,” Acosta replied, “and it’s a question that I would ask but, unfortunately, at this White House, we wouldn’t have the video or audio to show you the answer to that question because of the stonewalling that we’re getting over here at the White House.”
Talking about his own stance on the issue, and highlighting one of the most prized constitutionally upheld rights of American democracy and the foundations on which the country has progressed: freedom of the media.
“That’s the White House behind me, the White House. And it’s just — it’s bizarre. I don’t know what world we’re living in right now,” Acosta said. “We’re standing at the White House, and they bring us into the briefing room here at the White House and they won’t answer these questions on camera or let us record the audio. I don’t why everybody is going along with this.”
“It just doesn’t make any sense to me and it just feels like we’re sort of slowly but surely being dragged into what is a new normal in this country where the president of the United States is allowed to insulate himself from answering hard questions,” the CNN reporter said.