Sean Spicer: White House Press Secretary hasn't appeared on camera in over a week

Mythili Sampathkumar
Mr Spicer has become a figure of mystery in the last week: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has not had an on-camera press briefing in over a week.

He has instead held shorter, informal gaggles with selected members of the press or off-camera briefings.

The absence comes on the heels of President Trump’s interview with Fox News during which he gave his communications department a grade of "C plus" and the news about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ admission that he lied about his meetings with Russian officials prior to taking office.

Mr Spicer’s briefing style has also been famously lampooned by Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of him on Saturday Night Live.

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been giving interviews to various network news programs in light of the Sessions scandal as well making the rounds on Sunday morning shows to defend Mr Trump’s claims that Mr Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential election.

Even Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway, who was criticised for using the term "alternative facts" and being evasive in her answers to reporters, made television appearances on behalf of the White House.

President Obama’s press secretary Josh Earnest held formal, televised briefings every 2.6 days, according to Yahoo News.

After checking briefing transcripts, CNN said Mr Spicer’s briefings are shorter compared to those of Mr Earnest, but on par with briefings held during the George W Bush administration.

Mr Spicer has come under criticism for his choice of press during the on-record, smaller gaggles as well, most recently barring outlets like the New York Times and CNN on 24 February in favour of conservative organisations such as Breitbart.

The most recent White House executive order, regarding the rewritten travel ban, was not televised.

Three officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, gave statements but they did not answer questions. During an off-camera briefing Mr Spicer told the press corps that though the media questioned the decision, the White House had gone "above and beyond allowing the press into events."

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