White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has not held a press briefing in more than 70 days, but has made 12 appearances on Fox News in that time, Business Insider reports.
The length of time between press briefings has been longer for Sanders that for any of the preceding 13 press secretaries.
As The Inquisitr detailed, the current break from press briefings from the press secretary marks the longest such span in White House history at 72 days and counting. The previous record of 42 days was also held by Sanders. Prior to that, the longest stretch had been 41 days, once again under Sanders.
In those 72 days, Sanders has gravitated toward appearances on Fox News, making at lest 12 appearances on the generally administration-friendly network, which is overwhelmingly favored by Republican viewers. The right-leaning network is also generally characterized as a favorite of President Donald Trump himself.
In fact, it was Trump who publicly endorsed the idea of his press secretary avoiding press briefings in the first place.
“The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the ‘podium’ much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press,” he tweeted in January of this year. “I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway! Most will never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake News!”
CNN's Alisyn Camerota reminded Sarah Huckabee Sanders what it's like to take questions from a reporter who doesn’t work for Fox News https://t.co/X8wTdYz9FM
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) May 24, 2019
Sanders has had a generally rocky relationship with the press since the beginning of her tenure as press secretary, a role she took over following the departure of Sean Spicer, who had a reputation for amusing if sometimes antagonistic exchanges with the White House press pool.
Many in the media called for Sanders to step down in the wake of revelations within the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The report showed that Sanders had actively deceived the press regarding the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. The findings were shared in a redacted version of the report, which was made available to Congress and the public at large.
Regardless, many in the press pool have expressed frustration with the infrequency of the briefings. The long hiatus led CNN’s White House reporter, Maegan Vazquez, to point out that the press secretary’s podium was literally collecting dust.
“The White House hasn’t held press briefing in so long that the lectern in the briefing room is quite literally gathering dust,” she tweeted, sharing a photo of the indeed slightly-dusty podium.